Ten ways to support your child’s math progress at home.
1. Count everything! Count how many birds in the sky, steps to the park, rooms in your house, people you see on the way to school. Try to count by two’s, three’s, five’s, etc. Try to count backwards by two’s, three’s, five’s, twenty-five’s, etc. Make it a game!
2. Estimate! Estimate how big a room is, how long the table is, how heavy the book is, how much volume would fit in the jar. Then, actually measure it and see how close you were!
3. Collect coins in a jar and occasionally estimate how much money there is. Make it easy and only collect pennies or make it hard and collect all coins. Winner takes all!
4. Add up the bill out loud when you are shopping. Older children can do it for you. Talk about how much money you have, how much you are spending, and how much you will have left over. Use cash when you can and have your child help count it, estimate bills, and estimate change.
5. Eat! Eat pizza and brownies and donuts! Divide and discuss fractions. Discuss the difference between a part and a whole.
6. Cook! Discuss measurements out loud and talk about measuring cups and spoons and proportions. Let your child do the measuring. For a challenge, double or halve the recipe! Let your child write out the math.
7. Plan a Party! Figure out how many people will come. How many plates, forks, hamburgers, brownies, gift bags will you need?
8. Give your child an allowance. Have them maintain the balance. If they want to spend, have them do the math and present you with their balance, expected expenditure, remaining funds, etc.
9. Make up stories with numbers in them. Talk about years and ages and the passing of time.
10. Plan a Trip! Have your child work out travel time, mileage, costs, and a schedule. Better yet, have them pick several potential trips and work out the details for each. At your next family meeting they can present the options.
The best way to help make your child a reader is to read at home. The same goes for math. Show your child that math is everywhere and that you use your math skills every day. Make it fun and make it apply to your life!