Solving Word Problems: Enhancing Math Skills in Preschool and Primary Education with Subtraction


If you want to enhance your child’s math skills and make learning fun, solving word problems is a great way to do it! Word problems help children apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations, improving their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. In this article, we will explore how to solve word problems involving subtraction and how it can benefit preschool and primary school children. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Subtraction

Before we delve into solving word problems involving subtraction, let’s have a quick refresher on what subtraction is. In simple terms, subtraction is the mathematical operation of taking away one quantity from another. It is often used to find the difference between two numbers or to determine how much is left after something is taken away.

Why Solve Word Problems?

Word problems present math in a practical and relatable way, making it easier for children to understand and apply concepts. By solving word problems, children not only develop their math skills but also sharpen their reading comprehension and logical reasoning abilities. Additionally, solving word problems helps them connect math to real-world situations, giving them a deeper understanding of its significance in their daily lives.

How to Solve Word Problems Involving Subtraction

Now that we understand the importance of solving word problems, let’s discover some strategies to enhance our child’s subtraction skills:

  1. Read the Problem Carefully: The first step in solving any word problem is to carefully read and understand the problem statement. Encourage your child to identify key information and make notes if necessary.

  2. Identify the Question: Help your child identify the specific question they need to answer. Is it asking for the remaining amount, the difference between two quantities, or something else? Understanding the question will guide them in determining the correct approach.

  3. Visualize the Problem: Some children find it helpful to draw a visual representation of the problem. They can use objects, shapes, or diagrams to help them visualize the quantities involved in the problem.

  4. Use Manipulatives: Manipulatives are physical objects that children can manipulate to understand mathematical concepts. For subtraction, they can use counters, cubes, or any small objects. This hands-on approach enhances their understanding of subtraction.

  5. Choose an Appropriate Subtraction Method: Depending on the numbers involved, encourage your child to choose an appropriate subtraction method. They can use strategies like counting back, decomposing numbers, or using number lines.

  6. Solve Step-by-Step: It is important to teach your child the concept of solving problems step-by-step. Help them break down the problem into smaller parts and solve each part individually before moving on to the next.

  7. Check the Solution: After your child finds the answer, encourage them to double-check their solution. They can do this by using inverse operations or by re-reading the problem and ensuring their answer makes sense.

Accessing Free Worksheets and Activities

To practice solving word problems involving subtraction, you can access a wide range of free worksheets, activities, and exercises available online. These resources provide ample opportunities for your child to practice and reinforce their subtraction skills in an engaging and interactive manner. Some websites even offer printable worksheets categorized by grade level for ease of use.

Enhancing Math Skills with Subtraction in Preschool and Primary Education

In preschool and primary education, subtraction lays the foundation for more complex math concepts in the future. By introducing subtraction at an early age, children develop a solid understanding of numbers and arithmetic operations. Solving word problems involving subtraction not only helps them master subtraction but also improves their logical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities.


Solving word problems involving subtraction is an effective way to enhance your child’s math skills and critical thinking abilities. By applying mathematical concepts to real-life situations, children develop a deeper understanding of subtraction and its practical uses. Remember to make learning fun and engaging by using resources like free worksheets, activity books, and online programs. With consistent practice and support, your child will become confident in their subtraction skills and excel in math. So, get started today and watch your child’s math skills soar!

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