Someone shared an on-line resource about long division on my Homeschooling Creatively list about right-brained learners. When I went to the site, their “method” immediately reminded me of how Eli figured out how to do long division all by himself, using his own way to understand. (Actually, I think Eli’s way was easier compared to the “steps” the on-line resource is instructing one must do before actually solving the problem . . . I wonder if they stuck in some left-brained thinking anyway: those sequential steps and showing one’s work . . . for the conditioned parents out there checking out the resource. . . LOL!) Here’s a sample page of him working through problems:
For those of you who need a sample pulled from the chaos:
Answer: 12,681, R2
Alright, I can’t get the formatting on the blog to have that problem come out nice and neat, but hopefully, you get the idea.
What’s really sad is at the time, I had no clue as to what he was doing or how he was doing it. It’s fairly clear to me now, but what I’m trying to say is that the “way” school taught me was so ingrained as the “only way” to do it, that I couldn’t open my eyes enough to see another way, or at least for it to make sense to me. At first, I tried to teach him the “easier way”, or at least I thought it was easier from my perspective, but luckily, after a brief but ineffective attempt on my part at teaching him, I let him be and said, “If it makes sense to you, go for it!”
The book Eli was working out of at the time showed the “school way” when he was first introduced to long division, but it didn’t make sense to him, so he invented his own way based on the fact that he UNDERSTOOD the concept of long division. That’s kinda huge, because as a left-brained learner and one who “did well in school”, I easily learned long division simply because I was good at short-term memory of plugging in formulas as blindly taught and learned. Thus, that’s probably the reason I didn’t “get” how Eli was doing it his way when I noticed. About a year or two later, Eli adopted the “short cut” way on his own timeframe as I had learned in school because it finally made sense to him and it was faster, according to him. Plus, I think being able to work at it in this visual manner as long as he needed to helped him eventually come to a place that leaving out some of the whole could finally make sense to him.