# Kathleen Cotter Lawler on Read With You Presents

Listen to the podcast here.

Educator, Her mother was the founder of Right start mathematics

Mother of 4, Masters in Management and Dr. Joan A. Cotter’s daughter. She is a mathematician and Kathleen learned from her mother’s methods.

Her younger brother struggled in Math, and her parents wanted to test their methods; they tested them on Kathleen. She created games that she then wrote down and used to start her work.

Dr. Cotter had Kathleen and her sister play math card games to test them out as children.

Kathleen teaches parents and teacher across the country these methods.

Kathleen was originally taught the methods without understanding why.

If your child is struggling, what you are doing now, doing it again and again and again isn’t going to work. It didn’t work the first 40 times, another 40 is not going to make a difference. If you’ve been giving your kid worksheets and flashcards, it’s not going to work--unless of course you really want them to hate it! You need to do something different.

What happens a lot with math, When I’m learning 5x4, I don’t care what the answer is, but if I have a reason to learn it…but if I’m playing a card game and the answer is going to get me to beat my dad, it matters. We need an application and a reason to care.

It needs to be hands on, especially with younger children. Kids want to explore it. Why would they not want to touch their math?

Use fingers or other hands on methods for kids to see and understand. Kids need to explore, work with it and understand it.

Kids need to understand the reasons why things work.

Kids need to know the big picture.

It comes down to understanding.

The kids who are really good with math are usually playing around with it. Smart math people look at math differently. When you don’t understand you just memorize facts.

It is easier to remember things that have rhyme and rhythm, find the poetry in your math. Find rhyme, rhythm, reason, and happiness in your math.

Some kids don’t see that so we have to encourage them.

Dr. Cotter’s theory: girls listen and memorize; boys are figuring things out. Girls tend to struggle more as they get older in math; boys tend to do better because they have been figuring things out all along. Boys play with it and work with it. In elementary school, kids need to be encouraged to figure it out

Right start math incorporates games to help children. Useful for kids who homeschool or for parents “after schooling.” Math card games kit that are not just to review the facts, but to really understand and get deep into why and the beauty of the math.