Here are two more of our 10 Secrets to Success!  Here is last week’s post “Just Do It” in case you wanted to review.

4) Practice oral facts DAILY by having your student just say the answers from the math drill booklet’s front inside cover.
The best way for your child to make our time standards in math is by practicing the oral fact columns several times a day.  Go down and back up each column.  The goal is listed on the page, usually about 10 seconds each way. This is an excellent warm-up for the written pages.


Why does the speed matter?  While your student may well be able to count out to the correct answer, we are aiming for mastery which is memorization of the four basic operations.  Memorization leads to fluency that is demonstrated through speed.  Just like piano and sports, we practice the basics until they become second nature.  This frees up working memory to concentrate on learning new concepts.  Algebra becomes difficult when the pathway for 8 + 4 = 12 hasn’t been clearly established in the brain.

5a) Reread directions and passagesMany children will rush through stories and barely glance at directions.  If your student seems to be moving too quickly based on the length of passage, have her reread the passage aloud to you.  First, it ensures that the passage was read and not skimmed. Second, it will help you identify any words that she does not know. If she stumbles while reading them, have her look them up in a dictionary.  Simply slowing down and/or rereading will solve MOST comprehension issues.

5b) Watch the details!  We cannot express enough how many mistakes are made due to incorrect spelling – even when the word is on the page or lack of a period or needed capital letter.  Generally, it is your child’s responsibility to complete this work independent of parent involvement in order to build a strong foundation.  So while we do not want you to point out specific mistakes for your child to fix, we recommend you tell your student to review his work and ensure that:

  • each sentence has a capital letter and ending punctuation
  • spelling is correct with legible handwriting.

We are developing independent learners and want them to review and correct their own mistakes as you will not always be available to help them.

Why Master Lower Levels?