Jul 27, 2020

As a result of e-learning, a lot of us are becoming more involved in our children’s education. For most of us, it has been A LONG time since we took our last math class and we learned things differently when we were in school. How are you supposed to help your child learn math at home when you aren’t sure how to do it yourself?

Stay Positive

One of the most important qualities for learning anything is confidence. Confidence increases with familiarity. An important tip to help your child learn math at home is to show them how much math they already see in their everyday life. Use examples such as:

• setting a schedule (If I start watching a 45 minute tv program at 10:05am when will I be done?)
• determining time of a trip (If I want to go to the beach that is 50 miles a way, how long will it take me to get there are 30mph?)
• cost/budget? (I have \$100 for the grocery store. How many sodas, chips, burgers and buns can I buy?)
• measuring ingredients (I need 2 cups of sugar for the cookies. I am making a double batch. How much sugar do I need?)
• recognizing sets (setting the table, playing card games)

Stay Aware

Another way you can help your child learn math at home is simply to be aware of what they are studying. Simply discussing what they are learning while eating lunch or dinner will help in several ways. First it will let your child know that you are interested in what they are doing. This will make your child aware that what they are studying is significant. Secondly, it will help your child learn math if they explain it to you. They not only have to know what to do but they have to be able to verbalize the steps. Thirdly, this is a non-stressful way of measuring your child’s comprehension. Do they have trouble converting the fractions when describing how to double a recipe? Are spatial concepts like area and perimeter challenging for them? You don’t have to know the solutions! You just need to recognize that they are a little less sure on those skills. Then you can suggest ways to help them improve or provide opportunities to practice those skills.

Math takes persistence. You don’t need to be an AP Calculus teacher to help your child learn math at home. It is ok  if you don’t know how to do a problem. The most important thing to help your child is to show them that learning doesn’t mean knowing it ALL right now. It means trying more than once, looking for help if you  need it and working until you can find the answer. An added bonus is that these skills apply to life in general, so by helping your child learn math at home, you are helping them develop skills that will serve them well in other endeavors.