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7 Tips to Help Your Child Love Math

Why Math??

How many times have you heard the statement, “I don’t really like math”? There really isn’t a certain age group that expresses these feelings; these sentiments are felt from grade school into adulthood. What the child or adult is really saying is, “I don’t really understand math” or “New math concepts are really hard for me to grasp.” You can help change your child’s perspective by implementing these strategies.

Listen to your child

Many adults speak negatively about topics they don’t understand. It’s easier on the ego to simply say you don’t like something rather than admit you’re unfamiliar with or don’t understand a topic. The same is true for children. Listen very carefully to have a better idea of your child’s feelings toward learning new skills.

Identify prerequisite skills

Children often express a dislike because they did not completely master the prerequisite skills necessary to understand the current one. Work with the teacher to determine the prerequisite skills and develop a plan for remediation.

Incorporate games or other computer activities

Children often become bored with the same style of instruction. However, throwing paper and pencil out the window is not the answer. Develop a balanced variety of learning methods to break up the monotony.

Switch roles

Encourage your child to “play school.” Allow your child to play the role of the teacher. Begin by choosing a skill he/she has mastered. Have them teach you the skill in their own words. Make this a regular occurrence in the home. Being able to reteach a skill to others demonstrates mastery and empowers the student as well.

Incorporate math into daily life

There are many opportunities to use math outside of the normal school day. Take some extra time to include your child in the grocery list planning process. For younger students, encourage counting opportunities while riding in the car. Identify shapes and colors in the environment. Use opportunities to regularly make connections to everyday life.

Connect math to other areas of interest

Use your child’s specific interests to make a connection. If your child is interested in music, have them write a song related to a specific skill. If cooking peaks their interests, encourage them to analyze recipes by increasing or decreasing the amount of ingredients based on the size of your family.

Connect math to literacy

Select books that are related to current math skills. Read with your child or have them read to you after completing homework. Seeing the skill delivered in an alternative method can help reinforce its importance and connection outside of the normal math instructional time.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

Teaching Mathematics

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“Teaching Mathematics”

Did you know that mathematics has parts of speech and sentence structure, just as does any spoken language? Did you know that understanding the “grammar” of mathematics greatly helps student understanding of problem-solving and applications? In this workshop, Tom clearly and humorously demonstrates this quality of mathematical language. At last, you will truly understand the roles of all types of mathematical symbols, and you will see how easy it is to translate between mathematics and English, enabling you to improve your understanding and teaching of “story problems” at all levels.

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