The best help you can give your student in math is simply to make your child aware of when and how to use math. Whenever possible, talk through activities with your child and encourage him/her to take part in them. Think out loud, make estimates, check them, correct mistakes, and try more than one way to solve a problem. When you do, you provide your child with important experiences in mathematical thinking.
Here are a few math activities that you can do with your child.
- Young children can estimate by using items like pencils, crayons, or parts of their own bodies. Older children can use regular units of measurement like rulers or measuring cups and spoons.
- Ask your child to guess the number of items in your home. Make a list. Then count them together. Examples may include pillows, windows. doors, chairs, and shoes. Then compare estimates with an actual count. Make comparisons between items to help young children understand the concepts of "more" or "less" and put them into categories.
- Have your child complete his/her own height and weight charts. Begin by estimating, actually measure, and then graph the information. Keep a record over a period of time.
- Discuss directions (north, south, east, and west) to give your child a sense of coordinates. Have child use street maps to find travel routes and addresses and estimate the time of your arrival and compare that to the actual time it took to arrive at a given destination.
- Have competitions when traveling. Have child count red cars or see who can find the largest number formed by the numerals on a license plate.
- Have child practice, record, and read the large number on license plates viewed. Find the largest number in a given time period of travel
- Let child help with the cooking by measuring the ingredients and checking cooking times and temperatures. Older children can increase or decrease recipes.
- Have child figure out how to cut a pizza, cake, pie, or sandwich for different numbers of people.
- Have child determine how much or how many of a grocery item is needed for the entire family, or how much is needed for a given recipe.