Addition is one of the easier mathematical functions for young students, but many of them find subtraction to be difficult. The idea of this mathematical function is to take away from the total, and handling a loss seems to create a hardship for some students. While it seems to be true that many youngsters have issues with losing things, their problem with subtraction seems to be more complex than simply having to share their toys. Some may master this mathematical operation quickly, but others may need a year or two before they are ready to give up apples or oranges.
Children often find addition is easier because they can count items, and it helps them master the concept. Some of them are allowed to use their fingers and toes to count, but they are all expected to drop that method as they age. By the time they have been adding apples and oranges for a few years, they should be able to do it in their head.
Subtraction is nothing more than the opposite of addition, so it might appear to many that it should be just as easy for students to do. The majority of students seem to have no issues with mastering the concept, but their application skills are what take time to develop. Some students get into a tangle when they must borrow from the next largest column, but others seem to find even simple problems beyond their abilities.
Students learning mathematics often find there are a number of stumbling blocks as they progress, and subtraction is usually one of the first they must climb past. Once they master the concept of taking away items from their total, they will return to the positive application in the form of multiplication. Their learning experiences in subtraction will then be used in learning how to do division.