Learning Subtraction?

Is your child learning subtraction at school? Help them along by showing how the skill can be used at home.

  1. The kitchen really is the best place for math. Tell your child to grab three apples. Then, talk through the math problem. “I had five apples, but we are going to eat three. How many do we have left? Do I need to go and buy some more?”
  2. Before you go shopping, write your grocery list. “We have five rolls of toilet paper left. If we use one today, that means we’ll only have four left. I better buy some more.”
  3. Math is great when you are cleaning up the house. “There are three matchbox cars on the floor. If I put three away on the shelf, how many are left on the floor?”
  4. Take a walk! “There are eight steps and we have already gone down five of them. How many steps are left?”
  5. Go to the playground. “There are four seats on the merry-go-round and three kids are sitting. How many seats are left over?”

We do this sort of math all the time, but it helps to talk it through out loud so that children can see that subtraction is a part of daily life. It will also make the paper work make more sense if they can connect to real life experiences.

Subtraction Books

  • The Action of Subtraction, Brian P. Cleary
  • Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book, Jerry Pallota and Rob Bolster
  • If You Were a Minus Sign, Tricia Speed Shaskan, Christianne C. Jones, Francesca Carabelli, Melissa Kes

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