Your Child Can Be Good at Math

Here are a few at-home things you can do to encourage math learning.
Count with your child.
  1. For young children, use toys to sort and count or read a counting picture book.
  2. For preschool children, practice counting to 100 or as far as the child is able.
  3. For older children,answer. Remember to give clues rather than just telling them the answer. You can use your local librarian or the internet for help.
Measure with your child.  
  1. Think of a fun measurement game or activity. You can measure how tall stuffed animals are, the size of the TV, draw around people’s feet or shoes and measure the outline, etc.
  2. Talk about what you learn. Will the measurements change over time? Why or why not? When is bigger better, and when is smaller better? Why?
Think about math with your child.
  1. Have your child investigate a die. Have her add up the numbers that are on opposite sides of the die. Ask if she found out anything interesting? (The numbers on the opposite sides of die always add up to 7.)
  2. Make up a math question based on something your child is interested in.  Let your child struggle at the beginning to find answers. Don’t jump in too soon to help. When you do offer help, start with giving a hint or asking a question that will lead your child in the right direction
  • What are the current rankings for 5 favorite football teams. Have your child look them up on the internet or the newspaper. (Helpful hint: There are lots of rankings; what are the key words that should be in your search?) Ask what happens if two teams are tied for #1? If she doesn’t know, have her suggest ways to handle a tie and explain why each way would be more fair. After hearing her ideas, explain that if 2 teams have the same score, they will both have the same rank, and the next number is skipped. Team A – #1, Team B – #1, (no #2), Team C – #3 OR Team A – #1, Team B – #2, Team C – #2, (no #3), Team D – #4.
  • I want to make half the number of cookies that my recipe calls for. How much flour and sugar will I need? (Helpful hints: Can you find something on the internet about how to divide a cup in half? Do you want to use measuring cups to try to figure it out? How much should you start with? How much do you have to throw away?)
  • If your child gets a $2.00 allowance each week and is saving for a special toy, how long will it take him to have enough to buy the toy? (Helpful hints: How much does the toy cost? How much can you save in two weeks? Three weeks? Would you like to use real dollars to figure this out?)

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