Improving your kid’s math skills
Mathematics can be found in every aspect of daily life, from measuring ingredients or timing the perfect cake to balancing a checkbook or budgeting for a month. Geometry, algebra, fractions and basic computation such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can prove to be incredibly useful in later life, but are often difficult for children to master. With plenty of patience, some creative techniques and a positive attitude, parents can encourage their kids and help them to improve their math skills.
Finding the math in everyday life
The key to helping kids improve their math skills is to find creative ways to illuminate mathematical concepts and apply them to daily life. Research into how children learn consistently demonstrates that children learn best by imitation and repetition, through games and by example.
One of the best ways to bring math concepts to life for kids is by applying them in the kitchen. Cooking is all about math, with fractions and measurements taking center stage. Including kids in the preparation of meals or baking together is a great opportunity to apply math in a practical, constructive (and delicious) way.
Games are another great way to introduce and explore the world of math in a fun, attention-holding way. Games of strategy are especially helpful for increasing a child’s ability to analyze data and think strategically. Chess, checkers, Othello and many of the card games not only develop these vital math skills, but also stimulate creativity and improve a child’s ability to concentrate and remember. Of course, they are also great chances for the entire family, and even friends, to come together and work on social skills as well.
Music may also play a role in encouraging not only math skills, but overall academic success as well. Children who are exposed to music from a young age have demonstrated increases in their I.Q.s, some by as much as 20 points. Listening to and making music also stimulates a child’s imagination and creativity. The discipline of learning to play an instrument or read music can also be a great help when it comes to concentrating on learning math.
Positive lifestyle choices
Making positive choices at home when it comes to nutrition, exercise and proper amounts of sleep play a large role in academic success in all subjects, especially math. Getting proper amounts of protein and good fats is necessary for the brain to function properly and maintaining even blood sugar throughout the day is the key to staying alert and thinking with clarity while doing classwork and homework.
Getting daily exercise walking or playing sports is also important, helping the body to burn off energy that can lead to restlessness and difficulty concentrating. Proper amounts of sleep are also important, as a child’s growing body needs rest in order to grow and mature.
Getting help when needed: Tutoring
Sometimes it isn’t the concepts of math that are difficult, but the fact that there just isn’t enough time in class to properly master them. In this case, private tutoring may be an option worth exploring. Working with a math tutor allows a child to put math skills and concepts learned at school to work, isolating weak areas and improving all-around.