Numbers Game

2+2+1= 5 Ways To Improve Your Children’s Math Skills

Learning math can be tough for kids, especially those who do not have a natural ability or for kids who  struggle to grasp new concepts. Math skills are important to a child’s success — both at school and in everyday life. Understanding math also builds confidence and opens the door to a range of career options.
In our everyday lives, understanding math enables us to:
• Manage time and money, and handle everyday situations that involve numbers (for example, calculate how much time we need to get to work, how much food we need in order to feed our families, and how much money that food will cost).
• Understand patterns in the world around us and make predictions based on patterns (for example, predict traffic patterns to decide on the best time to travel).
• Solve problems and make sound decisions.
• Explain how we solved a problem and why we made a particular decision.
• Use technology (for example, calculators and computers) to help solve problems.
Arithmetic and math must be mastered step-by-step, and there is no point in rushing onto a more advanced concept or starting in Grade 5 math if the child cannot even cope with Grade 4 math. Basic calculations need to be properly reinforced. Maths can be fun though, even for the kid who struggles. There are some ideas to help your child enhance their math skills.
Play math games for fun
Games are an excellent way of developing the brain and improving strategic and analytical thinking. Strategy games such as chess, card games, mental skills games and draughts (checkers) will help to develop the above math skills, as well as enhancing creative thinking, concentration, memory and social skills.
Practice mental arithmetic
Playing number games on a regular basis and making the child work out sums in their head will certainly improve ability to work with numbers.Set the child tasks such as estimating how many beans are in a cup or how many bricks make up a wall. Introduce math games in the car (such as a competition between the kids to add and subtract the fastest). Be alert for opportunities to practice counting and bonds.
Improve memory using recall activities
An excellent way to improve memory is to make kids recall information. Read a story and make them answer questions or narrate the story back to you. Help them to make associations between previous knowledge or facts and make practical applications. For example, if helping them with a math concept such as  measurement and capacity, after learning the facts suggest they bake a cake or cookies and measure out the flour and milk themselves. This practical application of math will reinforce the concept and help the child to remember what they have learned in a workbook.
Encourage reading
The more kids read and retain what they have read, the more intelligent they will be! Encourage children to read a variety of books — fiction and non-fiction and books that will challenge the mind and expand their knowledge. Books that teach fascinating things about the world will help them to have a zest for life. Switch off the television and help them discover the magic of wonderful books. (See our article on family literacy, “Word Play).
Extra help
Avoid becoming so tied down with the mundane routine of life that the wonder, fascination and beauty of the world are overlooked. Children love to learn in this natural way but it also needs to be encouraged. The child that thinks math is like doing amazing magic tricks is more likely to enjoy studying it and excel. To a child, hours of bookwork and math worksheets, while providing practice, will make math seem like an unpleasant chore that has to be endured. If a child really battles with math, it will be helpful to hire the services of a private math tutor or arrange for additional remedial help after school. Math should be practiced every day, even during vacation time.
There are plenty of online math courses and educational math games that give kids plenty of help with math practice. For the kid who loves computers, this can be a great way of reinforcing math skills. Math is a vital skill for such higher education career choices as becoming an engineer, software developer, analyst, biologist, scientist — the list goes on — but also it provides a solid foundation for careers in the  manufacturing sector, such as automobile manufacturer, where there is an increasing need for math skills. But don’t raise the bar too high. Not every child can be a math expert, but every child should at least be math literate so they can function in today’s world.
Want to Learn More?
Helping Your Child Learn Math: A Parent’s Guide
Compiled by R. Legault.
5 Ways to Contribute to Your Child’s School
Being involved into your child’s world of education can be as simple as asking what they did at school or as elaborate as organizing a school event. Here are five practical ways for all parents to make a difference this school year:
1. Help in your child’s classroom. Most teachers are happy for an extra pair of hands.
2. Make a presentation to your child’s class about a topic they are studying.
3. Organize a fundraising event around a cause that matters to you. Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, an international children’s charity, offers a step-by-step fundraising guide at to help parents and kids support other children in need.
4. Volunteer in the lunchroom or at recess. It will give you a chance to get to know your child’s friends.
5. Attend school board and school council meetings. You’ll learn about issues and decisions impacting your child’s education.
Source: News Canada.
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