Math: The Importance of “WHY?”

Children are naturally inquisitive and curious, and they want to know why.

“Why is the sky blue?”   girl pointing

“Why can some balloons float and others not?


“Why can’t I have cupcakes for dinner?”


This same sense of wonderment and thirst for understanding can be a key factor in your child’s success with math.

How many times have we heard our kids saying “I’m no good at math”?

Often that sense of insecurity comes from a lack of context for the problems that they are asked to solve. So frequently, students are asked to memorize how to solve math problems and are not given the why to steps of the process. This often leaves them feeling frustrated and ill-equipped. girl with headache

Let’s have a look at some of those tricky questions:

1: “Why do I add the zero when I am multiplying 2 digits by 2 digits?”

This video made by Khan Academy does a great job of tackling that question:

2: “Why do I need to carry/re-group numbers and what’s really happening when I do?”

Another hit from Khan Academy:

3: “What’s the deal with equivalent fractions? How can 1/2, 2/4, and 4/8 all equal the same amount?”

Pizzas are used in this video to tackle that tricky topic:

4: “Why do we borrow/re-group numbers when we subtract?”

Borrowing/re-grouping is explained clearly in this video:

In the coming weeks we will be looking at some of these questions more closely and providing you with expert tips and tricks so that you can help your child master the why!

For more information on supporting your child in math, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit our website:


3 thoughts on “Math: The Importance of “WHY?”

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