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Helping Your Child with Math

Mathematics is challenging to many young people. Some opt to tune it out and adopted the notion “I can’t get it so why try!” Math is critical for them. Don’t let them give up. Encourage them and follow these helpful tips.

  • Visit your children’s schools. Meet with your children’s teachers to see if your children are actively involved in math. Find out how you can help your children to better understand math problems.
  • Set high standards for your children in math. Make sure your children are mathematically challenged and encourage their interests and pursuits of math. By the end of the 10th grade, your children should have studied algebra and geometry.
  • Help children see that math is very much a part of everyday life. From statistics in sports to the sale price of clothing, from the calories in food to the amount of gas needed to travel from one city to another, math is important to us every day. Help your children make these connections to math.
  • Point out that many jobs require math. From the scientist to the doctor, from the plant manager to the newspaper salesman, from the computer programmer to the hardware store owner, many jobs require a strong foundation in math. Help your children see that math leads to many exciting career opportunities.
  • Stimulate your children’s interest in technology. Encourage your children to use calculators and computers to further their learning.
  • Play games that help children develop decision making and mental math skills. There are many games sold commercially, such as board games that involve patterns and probability. Play games from your own family traditions such as counting games and games that keep score. Try schoolyard games such as jump rope, hopscotch, and jacks. Games require children to use strategies to make decisions, solve problems, and develop an understanding about numbers and how to use them (number sense) and computational skills.
  • Positive attitudes about math will reinforce encouragement.Your feelings will have an impact on how your children think about math and themselves as mathematicians. Positive attitudes about math are important in encouraging your children to think mathematically.

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