Magical Moments: Mental Math - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Magical Moments: Mental Math

{Christopher Dahl, photo by Wendy Dahl}


Today’s Magical Moment is a magical math moment! (We can all use more of those, right?) Wendy and Patrick Dahl are a Track B family in their second year at SLOCA with son Christopher, in Intermediate. Wendy wrote in to share this moment with us:

We started at Classical Academy in third grade, after 2 solid years of traditionally taught math, or what Singapore Math calls 'the algorithm.'

The first year of Singapore felt kind of awkward, like trying to write with your other hand, it was faster to just do it the old way. Christopher was resistant and would stubbornly use the algorithm, even though he understood the Singapore way.  I kept encouraging that it was different, slower now but after we became used to it, math would be easier and faster.

This year, he truly transitioned to Singapore math. First trimester he begrudgingly used the Singapore way more than last year, and would still use the algorithm a lot. And now in the last trimester here is the magical moment:

Standing in line for ice cream and reading the signs with prices, he mentally calculated our total quickly and accurately. ($1.79 + $1.79 = $3.58) He happily and kind of proudly said, “I rounded up to $1.80, added, then subtracted 2.” I exclaimed, “Yes! Singapore math is working! It's in your brain now!  Wasn't that easier than adding $1.79 and $1.79?” He agreed with, “Yeah, kinda. Yup, it took two years but it’s helping me now.”

So keep on going with Singapore math! It does pay off!

Thank you Wendy – what a great thing to witness and hear from your child! This is definitely an encouragement to all of us to trust the Singapore math program, even if a student might not be embracing it right away. Those real life applications are so rewarding! 

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