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Ways to teach division

Multiplication and division are different beasts than addition and subtraction. To master any new concept, students have to think in a different way in regards to reasoning mathematically. Of course, this requires you to approach division in your homeschool program with a plan to help your daughter understand it. With that in mind, here are some ways to teach the concept:

Go over rules of divisibility
Introducing your daughter to the rules of divisibility may help her begin to understand division. There are rules for dividing by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, and they go as follows:

  • 2: If the last digit in a number is even, the whole number is divisible by 2
  • 3: If the sum of the digits of a number can be divided by 3, the number can be divided by 3. Ex., for 258: 2 + 5 + 8 = 15 and 15 can be evenly divided by 3. Ergo, 258 is divisible by 3. 
  • 4: Numbers in which the last two digits are divisible by 4 are, as a whole, divisible by 4. Ex., for 216: 16 is divisible by 4, so 216 is divisible by 4.
  • 5: If the last digit is 0 or 5, the number can be divided evenly by 5.
  • 6: If a number passes the division rules for 2 and 3, it can be divided by 6.
  • 8: If the last three digits as a whole can be divided by 8, the number is divisible by 8. Ex., in 1,568, 568 is divisible by 8.
  • 9: The same rule for 3 applies to 9. So, if the sum of the digits can be divided by 9, so too can the whole number.
  • 10: If the last digit is 0, the number can be divided evenly by 10.

Knowing these rules can help your daughter look at a number and discover what it's divisible by - in some cases, multiple rules will apply to the same number. 

Connect to subtraction
Your daughter already knows subtraction and likely multiplication, so use these tools to teach division. For instance, use subtraction in this way:

Express 12/2 as 12 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 = 6.

This shows how many times 12 can be split in half. You can simplify it as (3 x 2) + (3 x 2) = 12, and then 6 x 2 = 12 

The inverse of that is 12/2 = 6.

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