I would like to start this article with a funny story.
Many years ago, I was working in a private school, and had a student, Nicholas, who was about 7 years old. He was a bright student, but, for whatever reason, he COULD NOT master borrowing or regrouping in subtraction problems.
Well, we worked and worked at it, doing it many different ways, and in total bewilderment and frustration, he threw himself on the classroom floor and refused to get up.
Knowing that it was break time, and that he wasn't much of an eater, I coaxed him to get up, take in a bit of food and relax some. We chatted of other things.
Well, minutes later, we started class again. He was somewhat fed and definitely calmer. As if it was the first time trying to learn this, I started again to show him how to do this kind of subtraction. Once more, we went through the problem, with a small bit of word changes and some more examples. I told him that borrowing was just going to your neighbor and getting ten more ones to help you out."
To my amazement, I looked at his little face, and could see that the light bulb had gone on! It finally made sense to him! He said, "So I just go and borrow from the next guy on my left!" He was so pleased with himself that he had mastered this thing called borrowing (or regrouping). He finally understood!
The point to this story is, all children learn differently and at their own pace. We are all not wired the same. There are many ways to master a subject!
I will always remember this little boy, with the flaming red, curly hair, as he was a huge example of how we can all win in education, children and parents alike.