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TouchMath Review by Dawn King

Innovative Learning Concepts
6760 Corporate Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919-1999

Do you wonder if your children will ever memorize their math facts? Are you stuck at the same place for months waiting for your child to memorize the addition facts? I personally spent a whole year just on the addition facts and my daughter still did not get them! We could not move on in her math program until she had memorized them, so we were stuck!

A good friend and fellow homeschooling mom, who tutored remedial students in public school for years, introduced me to TouchMath, a system of dots on each numeral from one through nine, which provides an ever-ready manipulative once the points and pattern are memorized. It was an answer to prayer!

Each digit has a series of dots corresponding to the quantity of the numeral. The dots, either single or double, are "touched" with the pencil.

Numerals one through five use a single touch point, while numerals six through nine use double touch points (a dot which is circled), which is counted twice. Your students can use these touch points for addition, subtraction, even multiplication and division!

In addition, a student uses the touch points to count forward; in subtraction, they are used to count backwards. With multiplication and division, they are used with skip counting to perform the operation. By repeated exposure, children will memorize all the basic math facts painlessly.

Innovative Learning Concepts has several products homeshoolers could use to incorporate TouchMath into their math existing curriculum.

The Video Seminar is a 45-minute program, which walks you step-by-step in through the TouchMath Method. This video makes the entire method very clear and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to teach it. If you can only get one thing, get this video! It sells for $45.

They also have workbooks: Kindergarten Counting and Kindergarten Addition serve as an introduction to this method for kindergarteners. The Counting book has the student learn the touch point pattern and counting to 20, while the Addition workbook introduces all the addition facts up to 9+9.

First Grade Addition begins by reviewing/teaching the touch point patterns, then teaches the basic facts, adding multiple single digit numbers, and touches on adding double-digit numbers without regrouping. First Grade Subtraction reviews the touch point pattern, and then teaches the basic subtraction facts. The last few pages are a mixture of double-digit addition and double-digit subtraction without regrouping.

In Second Grade Addition, the first thirty pages review the touch point patterns, the basic facts, and adding multiple digit numbers without regrouping. The rest of the 80-page workbook practices adding two and three digit numbers with regrouping. Second Grade Subtraction also begins with a review of concepts taught in First Grade Subtraction, then goes on to teach subtracting two and three digit subtraction with borrowing.

There are five workbooks in the Upper Grades series: Addition, Subtraction, Sequence Counting, Multiplication, and Division. The Addition and Subtraction workbooks review the concepts previously taught. These are intended for remedial use. Sequence Counting is a great workbook! It contains several pages of fun activities to review sequence counting (or skip counting) in preparation for teaching multiplication and division. Multiplication teaches the basic multiplication facts as well as multi-digit multiplying. Division teaches the basic division problems as well as long division. Each workbook sells for $18.

I have several children using these workbooks so I have experience in all the levels mentioned above. Let me tell you, my kids love these workbooks. In fact, several of them consistently work ahead of their assigned pages. The TouchMath method has given my math-phobic daughter the confidence she needs to continue on with our regular math curriculum.

Innovative Learning Systems also sells a workbook series called One-2-One, which is targeted at parents and homeschoolers. I was not sent copies of these to review, but more information on these sets is available on the website. TouchMath also produces black line master sets for public school classroom use.

They look like a great resource, but are very expensive. I would like to see TouchMath put together a black line master set specifically for homeschoolers.

-- Product Review by: Dawn King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine