"Why would they change math? Math is math!” The valuable math lesson for parents to be found in Incredibles 2

The Incredibles are probably the world’s most relatable superheroes - not because we’ve all had experience of their superpowers, but because despite all that, they struggle with some of the same things that we do. 

In the Incredibles 2, we see Mr Incredible struggling to help his son with his math homework. Here at Komodo HQ we are familiar with the confusion that can arise when parents are confronted with their children’s math homework, not least because the methods for doing the various calculations have changed since we were at school. 

“That’s not the way you’re supposed to do it dad. They want us to do it this way…” 
“I don’t know that way! Why would they change math? Math is math!” 

We think that what Mr Incredible and Dash are dealing with sounds an awful lot like the different methods that have been introduced for doing long division and multiplication. 

Math is math - numbers are pretty non negotiable and just because 20 years have passed, 2 x 2 hasn’t stopped being 4. 

However, some of the calculation methods we learned at school are a bit like mathematical voodoo - this number goes here, and that number goes there and poof, there’s the answer - it works, but it leaves kids without any real understanding of where the answer comes from. 

Developing skills, confidence and understanding

So some new methods have been introduced alongside the tried and true methods we know to enhance children’s understanding of the calculations, which will in the long run enable them to engage in the trial and error process that develops their skills and confidence in numeracy. Which, of course, is fantastic but can leave us parents puzzled and unsure of how to help them when they need a bit of support. 

Never fear though, as Komodo is here to explain the ‘new’ ways of doing things. From division using partial quotients (what?!) to multiplication using grids (excuse me?) we’ve got it covered with a host of videos and blog articles to walk you through it. 

So while you may never be able to lift a bus or generate a forcefield, you can have the superpowers you need to help your kids with their math homework - what could be better?

Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost K-5 math skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math – without keeping them at the screen for long.

And now we've got Komodo English too - check it out here.

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