Nurturing your children to develop an appreciation of math can be a challenge; however, encouraging them to think about numbers every day may come a bit easier. It’s also a great way to lay the foundation for a love of learning math.
“Parents can incorporate problem solving math in the kitchen, in the car, while they’re grocery shopping,’’ said Lia Crawford, elementary mathematics supervisor for Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Florida. Give children confidence with the basics, she said, and they’ll fall in love with math – an attitude that serves as a building block for the rest of their education – and for much of life.
When you pay your bills online, buy shoes, measure distance or check the time, you’re using math. Here are a few useful tips to help get your children excited about math.
Be an example
Help your children improve their attitude toward math, by showing them that you are confident when completing routine tasks like counting money from a school fund-raiser, or completing your tax return.
Read books that incorporate math
More and more schools are starting to integrate diverse subject areas in the curriculum so students can make clearer connections between different subjects. One way is to have students read books in which the main characters solve a problem using math or logic. Examples include, One Hundred Hungry Ants by Ellinor J. Pinczes, The King’s Commissioners by Aileen Friedman and Socrates and the Three Little Pigs by Tuyosi Mori.
Use math every day
Encourage your children to solve problems involving math outside of school. In the grocery store, ask your children to figure out the price of four cans of tuna fish. In the car, ask them how long it will take to travel to your destination based on your speed.
We naturally encourage our children to read, write and speak outside of school, but often leave learning math skills to inside the classroom. Like everything else, your children’s skills and confidence in working with mathematical concepts will improve with daily practice, support and encouragement. Be sure to share your own tips with fellow parents and friends today.