By Deborah Williams
Kimberly Dupps Truesdell, writer for The Journal Gazette, acknowledges that parents of elementary students often find that their children’s math content is very different from what they had at the same grade levels. Many find it difficult to help their children at home. In her article, “Help Adds Up,” Truesdell spoke with Willa Kline, executive director of Educational Opportunities Center, to get suggestions for what parents can do to help their children improve their math skills. Among other things, Kline suggests the following:
- Practice the math facts with your children.
- Reinforce a child’s natural learning progression—from a concrete, visual way to a more abstract way—by using more than numbers and symbols to help them understand math concepts.
- Be creative with what you have on hand. It is not necessary to purchase “manipulatives.” That includes rocks, coins, and toys to help children understand math better.
- Try to explain concepts in a variety of ways.
- Use situations to reinforce math concepts. A trip it the grocery store can help a child practice mental math, and rides in the car are good opportunities to practice math facts.