# LABWAY Math Review

When parents discuss a math curriculum with other homeschoolers, this question inevitably arises: “Is it a spiral or mastery approach?” We tend to first think about how the procedures are presented to our students. LABWAY Math aims to help our children learn the logic of math first, then focus on how the logic applies to the procedures.

This is my review of LABWAY Math and how it worked for our family.

My son is very creative, but he doesn’t like math. Sound familiar?

He has managed to make straight A’s, but he struggled through it and spent Many hours learning the procedures and completing assignments. He managed to retain the formulas and processes to apply. But I wanted him to truly understand math because we still have some higher-order math to get through in our homeschool. When I discovered LABWAY Math coaching, I wanted him to try it. I had to beg him at the start. (Spoiler alert – I didn’t have to beg him for long!)

**What is Coaching by LABWAY Math?**

## Table of Contents

LABWAY Math has a much different approach than tutoring. The sessions your child has with their coach are NOT tutoring.

LABWAY Math does not look at your curriculum, go over homework, or review specific lessons or chapters from your child’s curriculum.

Curriculum is great for teaching math procedures—how to solve a math problem.

However…

LABWAY Math helps our kids understand the WHY.

Changing the curriculum will not solve the problem of a student not getting math. The curriculum is a good guide. You need a curriculum.

But, for a student to understand why certain procedures are done and when they are applied, the student needs to understand the logic behind those procedures.

The LABWAY Math coaching augments what the student is doing in their math curriculum and engages students in a one-on-one conversation about the logic behind the math procedures.

This way, parents can focus on working through the curriculum.

**How Did You Get Started? Is There an Onboarding to LABWAY Math Coaching?**

When I first found out about LABWAY Math, I was very curious and interested. As I mentioned, my son had always received good grades in math, but it was a struggle to get those. He was busy memorizing the procedure—the “what do you have to do to solve this problem?”

With more math classes to go, I knew the struggle would get more intense. So, we set up the initial consult session with LABWAY Math.

Then, when I was asked to write a LABWAY Math review based on our experiences, I was happy to do that. I understand the frustration for students and parents when math is a struggle and takes up an inordinate amount of studying time.

When we started with LABWAY Math coaching, we first met with our coach, who worked on getting to know my son. They explained how the sessions would work and discussed coaching versus tutoring.

LABWAY Math coaches go through over 160 hours of training and focus on getting to know the student.

What was significant about our first joint sessions, as I look back, is that LABWAY puts much effort and thought into pairing each student with a coach. This is important because as they get into their conversations, and in those conversations, they’ll use examples of things the student can relate to and are interested in. This is an excellent way for the coach and the student to connect.

Also, the coach talked with my son to assess where he was in his understanding of specific math concepts. They were looking to see if my son understood the logic behind math procedures and concepts.

Once we went through the initial getting-to-how-you sessions and they had a good handle on his understanding of the logic of math procedures, my son began his 40-minute coaching sessions twice a week.

The sessions are all done via Zoom. My son and the coach both had lots of paper and pencils on hand!

They began with the basic math concepts, like multiplication and addition, and started building on it to fractions, exponents, etc.

**What Does a LABWAY Math Conversation Sound Like?**

This concept of coaching and a conversation was new to me and my son. I wasn’t sure he’d like the back-and-forth conversation.

LABWAY coaches use questions to get the student talking in lieu of the coach doing all the explaining.

With the questions, the coach tries to get the student to a critical state of thought. This conversation gives the coach insight into how the student thinks.

In our curriculum up to this point, my kids had been taught procedure, procedure, procedure, but LABWAY Math was now engaging my son in this conversation about the logic of math.

Watching this process and how my son is having to learn to think through logic is interesting and fun.

It was also surprising how well he did with the conversation as the questions and back-and-forth discussion continued. My son has a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, and he has been able to engage very well in these discussions that make our kids delve into the logic of math. Our biggest challenge was that our children are not used to answering these logical questions, but he’s now getting trained on thinking critically.

**Coaching Conversation**

Here is an excerpt of just one small part of a coaching session. The coach had given my son a problem multiplying fractions:

The coach asked my son what answer he had come up with.

My son: “Well, I don’t think it’s (his solution to the math problem) going to be right.” And his tutor said, “That’s okay; just say it.”

My son showed the tutor how he worked out the problem on paper and talked through what he did.

**Tutor: **“Did it work?”

**My son: **“No”

**Tutor:** “Why? Practice the mental math.”

My son then went back and explained step by step what he was doing to solve the problem.

When my son started to work through a piece of the problem, and it still didn’t work out, the coach would say, “That’s alright; that logic didn’t work. What is the next option?”

The coach would also reply to wrong answers with, “Ok, how did you work the step?” and “Why did you do it that way?”

This conversation helped my son to see the logic behind why the step worked or didn’t work. There were some long pauses after the coach asked a question, but the coach waited patiently.

**The LABWAY Math coach is not telling the student the answer or working out the procedures. The coach guides the student through thinking logically and critically to ****understand t****he** logic behind the** procedure and how to solve the problem.**

As parents, don’t we want our children to learn to think critically and logically in all areas of life to help them approach and work through problems they face in areas outside of math?

It’s a relationship with math. Not the how of math but the why.

It’s not that the procedures he used were always incorrect, but he now understands the why behind using those procedures. Understanding the logic behind the procedure makes him feel like he knows what he’s doing. Before, he couldn’t understand why he was using a procedure but knew it had to be done.

**Did Your Son Like the LAWAY Math Coaching?**

**My son told me, “LABWAY has helped me understand and use critical thinking in math, making everything faster.”**

We initially signed up to do eight weeks of sessions, and when the last session was approaching, my son was VERY disappointed we were stopping.

In fact, my son told me, “LABWAY has helped me understand and use critical thinking in math, making everything faster.” Read more about critical thinking and LABWAY Math in this post.

The sessions were enjoyable, and the conversations for him were engaging, “One thing I like about the coaches is that they make it fun. It’s never just a math lesson; sometimes it seems more like a game.”

We have decided to extend his coaching time with LABWAY Math because he enjoyed them and felt they were helping him gain logic and critical thinking skills he noticed he was using in other areas of his life.

**As a Parent, What Do You Like About LABWAY Math?**

I am so thankful we were able to connect with LABWAY Math.

I see him growing more confident in his math ability and as a person.

When he’s in a coaching session, he feels successful and isn’t hesitant to jump into the conversation. As a parent, it’s great to see my son feeling so confident in a subject he really had to work at to get top grades. He was always struggling with the procedure.

As I watched the recordings of his session, as he got further into one of their discussions, I could see a lightbulb comes on. He would get empowered and remark, “Oh, I get that!”

Even my son noticed that when he came out of a coaching session, he felt better about his math abilities.

Now that he understands the logic behind the procedures when asked, “Why did you do it that way?” He can confidently have a discussion and provide a logical explanation.

When our kids learn to engage in these logical conversations about math, they come to a point where they don’t just use those critical thinking skills in math. These skills become part of how they look at the world and solve other problems.

Being able to understand the logic behind the math procedures gives our kids the confidence to not only see themselves as a math person but gives them confidence to handle other areas in life where they may lack confidence.

**Now that he understands the logic behind the procedures when asked, “Why did you do it that way?” He can confidently have a discussion and provide a logical explanation.**

**Get LABWAY Math’s $49 August Special! – How to Learn More and Connect with LABWAY Math**

LABWAY Math has a homeschool special you do NOT want to miss in August.

Select group coaching for six months, and you will get the first and last month FREE!

Watch some session recordings here, and then contact LABWAY Math to take advantage of the group coaching special!

## The 4th Industrial Revolution: Why We Have to Change the Relationship Our Children Have with Math?

“In 10+ years in the United States, and in 20+ years around the world, *most undergraduate degrees are going to experience ‘value inversion*.’

Value inversion means the cost of a college education will exceed the increased lifetime earnings on a relative basis to a person’s next best option.

This means most degrees are going to be a luxury of time and money, not a necessity to increase earnings!

The regularly identified exception is … drum roll… MATH-based degrees. In the fourth industrial revolution, future job demand projections relevant to OUR kids indicate math-based degrees and jobs will remain a *LOGICAL investment of time and money in college*. This includes degrees in Math, Economics, Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Data Analytics.

Changing the RELATIONSHIP our children have with math is so important to THEIR economic future and that of the United States and other countries.”

Derrick Latrielle

Founder, LABWAY Math

*About Elyce Tate: Elyce is a homeschooling mom to teens who stays busy teaching students online and at a local co-op. She received coaching sessions in exchange for this LABWAY Math review. All opinions are her own and reflect their true experience with the coaching sessions.*

I hold a master’s degree in child development and early education and am working on a post-baccalaureate in biology. I spent 15 years working for a biotechnology company developing IT systems in DNA testing laboratories across the US. I taught K4 in a private school, homeschooled my children, and have taught on the mission field in southern Asia. For 4 years, I served on our state’s FIRST Lego League tournament Board and served as the Judging Director. I own thehomeschoolscientist and also write a regular science column for Homeschooling Today Magazine. You’ll also find my writings on the CTCMath blog. Through this site, I have authored over 50 math and science resources.