We use math everyday, from counting the amount of money left in our bank account to figuring out how long it will be until dinner. In this post, we will share some of our Math tutors’ favourite recommendations for parents like you to help your children with math.
All you have to do is choose a few strategies below and implement them into your weekly routine. These easy-to-do tactics will help your child get an increased understanding of their math skills, and get more comfortable with being around numbers.
1. Come up with fun Math activities at home
The best way to encourage your young child to practice their skills is to make it fun for them. Having activities that challenge them to think will help them increase their abilities in Math. Some easy activities you can incorporate into your daily life are:
- Paying using change: Give your child change to count out when you are paying for small purchases. This is a great way to familiarize children with money and counting concepts, especially for those who learn best by doing.
- Dice Up the Math: Give your child two dice. Roll the dice, then add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers. If they get 10 correct answers in a row, they can get a small snack!
- Post-It note Fun: Put up 10 Post-It notes, and label them from 0 to 9. Give your child a number and ask them to create an equation using the numbers on the Post-It note. This is one of our Math tutors’ favourite games to play with young students. A twist for our online tutoring students: this game can also be played virtually!
2. Include your child in real-life decision making
Math is embedded in the decisions we make everyday. Whether it’s calculating a budget or figuring out how much time is left, our addition and subtraction skills are always put to the test. In elementary school, students are expected to understand money concepts, and this is a unit that our Math tutors often teach to students. So here are some ways you can include your child in these real-life situations are:
- Groceries with a budget: In your next grocery haul, bring your child and give them a budget of $15 to spend on their favourite food. You can watch your child consider different foods and their prices, and calculate whether it fits in their budget.
- Restaurant tipping: After eating a meal, pass the bill to your child and ask them to use mental Math to calculate how much should be tipped at 15%, 18%, and 20%.
3. Incorporate terms such as “whole”, “half”, “thirds”, and “fourths” into your conversations
When your child is more comfortable using Math terms at home, they will be more willing to use them at school. Here are some easy ways to slip in these Math words at home:
- How much should I eat?: Fruits are great to use when practicing Math terms. After all, you can cut them into as many pieces as you’d like! Ask your child to pass you half/a third of/a quarter of an apple, and get them to start thinking about these terms more.
- Fill up the plate: During dinnertime, give your child the responsibility of filling up their own plates. However, you’re in charge of determining how much they will eat. Give them prompts like “Fill up half your plate with veggies” or “Fill up a quarter of your plate with chicken”, so they can follow your request.
When Math is incorporated into our daily lives, learning it doesn’t seem like much of a chore. Next time you find your child needing some extra Math practice, try using these strategies to help them improve.
Looking for more ways to improve your child’s math skills?
Here are some top resources our online and in-person Math tutors recommend:
- Khan Academy – A free Math resource for children from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Aside from Math exercises, they also help with other subjects like English, Economics, and Science.
- IXL – A subscription-based website with endless Math exercises for your child to practice.
- Mathisfun.com – A website with games, activities, and worksheets for your child to practice Math anytime.
Learn more about how our Math tutors help students break down complex topics, and schedule a call to get started!