Teaching Tips - Math - For Children

Write Numbers Extra Neatly

To do math well, you really need perfect legibility. You have to write every single digit so neatly, you can read it.

If you mis-read one single digit, you will almost certainly get the wrong answer, for the entire problem. Almost all the work you did on that problem will be wasted. You will have to go over the entire question again, to find your mistake.

It's a huge waste of time, and it's very frustrating, especially when you find out that you knew how to do the problem, but just got a tiny bit sloppy, for just one little digit of one number.

This is far more true in math, than when writing words. With sloppy writing, if you can't read a letter, or even an entire word, you can normally figure out what it was, from the words around it. Sometimes it doesn't even matter if you can't read an entire word. Usually, you can still get the meaning out of the writing.

However, in math, you have to be able to read every single digit you write. If you mis-read just one single digit, you will almost certainly get the wrong answer.

A zero that looks like a nine, or a six that looks like a zero, can waste a lot of your time.

Take your time, and write each digit and letter clearly, when doing math. Going fast, and not being able to read every digit, is a complete waste of time (it takes so much longer to do math when you are rushing).

With careful practice and concentration, your speed will gradually increase while still keeping everything legible enough to get the right answer the first time.

So, take your time, and write each digit or letter clearly, when doing math. It will save you time, and it will make doing math a lot less frustrating (and maybe even fun!).

For Parents

Encourage your child to have perfect legibility, but also make sure you explain to them why they need perfect legibility in math. I use this exact explanation with children, as well as parents. You may even want to have your child read it here.

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