10 Tips To Help Your Child With Math
1. Counting can be fun and entertaining. Sing counting songs such as “One, Two Buckle My Shoe”. Ask any of our Little Harvard staff members who will be happy to recommend fun counting books and songs. Try playing Hopscotch – it’s a counting game! There are lots of games where you count, such as Snakes and Ladders, Dominoes, Crazy Eights and Candyland.
2. Computers + math = fun. There are great and educational computer games for math – the app store is quite resourceful. Make sure they are “parent approved”. There are also super websites that have fun math games.
3. Start Easy and Work Up! Once they have got the hang of counting by 1s, introduce skip counting, such as counting by 2s and 5s.
4. Use household items for counting practice. Practice adding and subtracting with objects found around your house like spoons or pots and pans. When they’ve become good at these skills, move on to simple multiplication.
5. Tap into your child’s curiosity. Go on a number hunt together and discover places where numbers are used such as a clock, TV, computer keyboard, calendar, telephones and licence plates.
6. Use everyday activities. Your child’s world is filled with everyday math problems that can be solved. For example, “There are four people in our family and we each need a knife and a fork to eat dinner. How many knives and forks do we need to set the table?”
7. Kitchens can be math zones. Bake some muffins or cookies and ask your child to help you measure out the ingredients. It may be a bit messy but it’s fun family time and there’s nothing like a fresh cookie as a reward! Have math fridge magnets available so children can start making number patterns and doing simple math problems.
8. Predict and compare. Start to measure and estimate things like how far it is from the driveway to the house or how long a trip will take and then measure and compare the actual time it takes.
9. Talk about time. The concept of time can be hard to grasp. Talk to your kids about minutes and hours. Then get them to try counting days and weeks – for example how many “sleeps” until the weekend or a visit to a friend or relative.
10. Identify shapes and sizes. Play “I Spy”. Instead of looking for words beginning with a letter, look for different colors or shapes and count the number you find in the room.
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