# Subtraction With Regrouping

by on December 20, 2011

You may not be familiar with the term “regrouping”.  You may remember it being called subtraction with “borrowing”.  We have gone away from calling it borrowing and tend to call it regrouping now, simply because that is exactly what the numbers are doing; they are regrouping themselves between columns.  The idea of “borrowing” implies that we are going to return something, when in fact the number never gets returned to its original column!

So, what exactly is Subtraction with Regrouping?  Once your child has had an opportunity to learn his Subtraction facts, and once he has practiced some Column Subtraction without regrouping, he will move on to Subtraction with Regrouping.  This type of subtraction is when we take two 2-digit numbers (or larger), and line them up one on top of the other in a column.  When you look at the Ones column, the digit on the top is smaller than the digit on the bottom, which makes that column difficult to solve without regrouping into the next column.

What to watch for: When children begin subtraction with regrouping, they want to flip the numbers around so the subtraction “works”.  Using our previous example, a child will often write the answer of “2” in the Ones column, because he simply flipped the 3 and the 5 in the Ones column to make 5-3 instead of 3-5.

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• As always, playing math games at home is a great way to reinforce math skills learned in school.