For many homeschooling parents, the scariest subject to tackle with their kids is math. (And not just us, judging by the complaints of public school parents when their kids need help with their long division.)
I'm lucky that I always liked math in school, and -- at least until we reached trigonometry -- it's been easy to call it up again when I need to explain something to my kids. But one thing always bothered me: Even though I could always apply the right formula, I didn't always understand why it worked.
For my family, the answer was math manipulatives -- counting tokens that help make abstract math concepts concrete. They really help you visualize what's going on when you multiple three fours to get 12. My favorite are still Cuisenaire Rods, which come in graduated sizes to help demonstrate everything from simple addition to exponents. (They're fun to play with, too!)
Do you have a stumbling block with math or another subject? How do you get around it?
Image: Kathy Ceceri