Mental Math

Students routinely fall behind in math because schools let fundamental skills shrivel and die.

Math is complex, but it’s structured:  trigonometry assumes geometry, which assumes algebra, which assumes basic arithmetic.  Picture a pyramid, with the hard math on top, supported by the base skills.

When the bases are secure, students can focus on the higher concepts.  But when those skills are insecure, students must simultaneously re-learn them when learning new material.  It’s confusing, and difficult.

Worse, students are set up to fail: classrooms assume that students will forever retain the basic skills they learn in K-8.  Cognitive science assures us they won’t: the brain is efficient, and dissolves anything it’s not using.  I’ve seen honors students who can’t add fractions or multiply by 10.

This course fixes that.  In eight brief sessions, it trains students to do difficult addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in their heads without stress. In seconds, you’ll be able to do the following problems without really trying:

739 + 674

861 – 483

17 × 26

210 ÷ 14

Aren’t those just party tricks?  How will this help me, concretely?

By automating the bases, you’ll be able to see the problem as a whole. Working memory (the “thinking part” of the brain) can only deal with seven items at once.  When a complex problem includes more than seven elements, you get lost and frustrated.  But when you automate the most basic elements, you can see how the complex parts fit together.

By being able to do basic math quickly, you can check your work without really trying. Wrong answers will seem wrong; right answers will seem right.

By mastering the fundamentals, you’ll transform into the “smart kid” in class.  You’ll see yourself differently; the teacher may treat you differently.  Math class won’t just be “a long string of suckiness”, as a student once eloquently put it.  It’ll be doable.

Once you shore up the bases, all math becomes easier.

If you’d like to get your feet wet, contact me for a free, one-hour consultation.

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