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- How To Engage Your Child In Math At Home:
“Real Life” math activities are so easy-
Home is full of activities to explore math with your child. Whether you are cooking dinner, putting an appointment on the calendar, paying the bills, or driving in the car; you can always point out to your child or “think aloud” to explain the math skills involved. Also, ask children what math tools they might have around the house. I asked a first grader this recently and he said, “a screwdriver.” Although, this was an entertaining answer it showed he did not understand what things are truly used to help us think about math. Children should be able to find a clock, rulers, calendar, dice, calculator, measuring cups, coins, etc… Many children don’t even realize that these are what we use to solve real life math problems.
Most importantly, we want to create problem solvers in math. There are multiple ways to solve problems and as parents and teachers we can encourage that. Every parent has heard their child say, “You can’t solve the problem that way that is not the way the teacher did it!” I tell students this is OK! I am always telling students to look for a new way to solve the problem. Practice asking your child to explain their thinking and how they got the answer. If children always check a problem a different way than they solved it they will become lifelong problem solvers.
Most importantly, practicing math at home can truly build a child’s self-confidence in math. Many children get frustrated in math around the end of 2nd grade or 3rd grade. Simple activities and practice of facts gives children the confidence they need to truly have an understanding of math concepts.
Check out these websites for ideas on practical activities you can do at home:
Favorite websites for math fact practice:
- math magician - http://oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/mathmagician/cathymath.html
- xtramath.org - https://www.xtramath.org/home
Other websites for interactive practice:
Ixl.com (for all skills by grade level)
coolmath.com (for fun games to play)