Top of the Class, but... For seven years I've watched my beautiful son hunched over Kumon math worksheets. He finds little enjoyment from them and I'd rather see him chasing butterflies. They've certainly helped his Math performance at school __ he's top of his class, but I wonder if the effort has been worth it in the big scheme of things. He's currently solving about 100 polynomials per day. Man, he can really solve polynomials, and fast. But for what? His arithmetic skills are awesome but when presented with a math story problem, he falls apart, helpless. No matter how many times I suggest that he _ read the problem carefully, note down the givens, assign names to intermediate and final values, form equations,activate his Kumon engine (brain), he just can't get past the read_the_problem_carefully step.

First, the Basics! The x axis of a graph refers to the horizontal line while the y axis refers to the vertical line. Together these lines form a cross and the point where they both meet is called the origin. The value of the origin is always 0. So if you move your pencil from the origin to the right, you are drawing a line across the positive values of the x axis, i.e., 1, 2, 3 and so on. From the origin to the left, you're moving across the negative values of the x axis, i.e., η, θ, ι and so on. If you go up from the origin, you are covering the positive values of the y axis. Going down from the origin, will take you to the negative values of the y axis.

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