Have your child develop an understanding of variables. Have them read the word problem and distinguish what the question is actually asking them to find. What is missing?
After John paid $7 for a toy, he had $5. How much money did John have to start with?
KEY WORD :How much money to start with ( - )
Question: asking for the amount of money John had before buying the toy. This is going to be your variable
Missing Info: Amount of money all together (before purchase)
Equation: money to start will be (M)
M – $7 = $5
Solution: M - $7= $5
+7 = +7
M = 12
John had $12 to start.