Simple Strategies That Can Help Your Child Become a Math Superstar
Reading, writing and arithmetic are the three most essential skills your child needs to master. Schools spend a lot of time on literacy, making sure children can read so they are able to communicate effectively with you and others. From the very first day of school, reading and writing are constantly reinforced, from the ABC's to identifying colors and words. But what about the arithmetic portion of these three essential skills?
Many students are good readers and advanced writers, but have a really hard time with mathematics. Why is this so? Is math and English created equally? How much time is spent ensuring your child is numerate? If schools spent as much time on mathematics as they did on reading and writing, students would not perform so poorly and rather become math superstars.
It is expected that every child can count backwards and forwards like they recite the alphabet. Is your child able to add, subtract, multiply and divide without a calculator? Does your child cringe at the thought of fractions? These are skills that are imperative to your child’s success in school. When these skills are not reinforced and mastered on a consistent basis, then students usually struggle with mathematics throughout their entire educational careers. How can you help boost your child’s numeracy?
Here are some things you can do as a parent to strengthen, to reinforce and to enhance your child’s math skills that can be a “super star” in mathematics. Buy literature that tells a story involving math, involve math in your day to day activities, buy multiplication flash cards, play board games like Uno or Monopoly. Incorporating these fun-filled mathematics activities not only makes your child a math whiz in school, but gives you quality time with your family.
One of the biggest problems in mathematics is students are not exposed to enough “math stories.” Students hear a plethora of fictitious stories to help them with grammar. How about using literature to teach basic math concepts? Find stories that talk about counting, problem solving and basic arithmetic. The more they read about it, the more comfortable they will be around numbers.
Children should be numerate as well as literate. Committing basic mathematics facts to memory is the single most important skill a child can master. Students struggle in algebra and higher mathematics courses because of their deficiencies in basic computational skills. A solid foundation in number sense does a world of good for your child’s success in algebra and beyond.
Numeracy is more than just mastering computational skills. Critical thinking is a skill that is virtually nonexistent. Helping children to think critically about a mathematics situation helps them perform well on standardized tests. In addition, it also helps students become better decision makers and become more responsible, productive adults.
So the next time you are in the grocery store or sitting at the dinner table, stop and think of how you can incorporate a little math. Trust me, teaching a little lesson now will help your child become the math superstar you always wanted him or her to be!
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