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  • Charis Chio

10 cool and easy ways parents can help with math

1. Math is all around you...Spot it!

Look around, you will be surprised at how easy it is to relate some everyday basic objects to an aspect of math. Draw your child's attention to shapes, patterns, sizes, numbers that can be spotted around you. Let the kids tell you numbers on transport, tickets, billboards. Being able to recognize bigger numbers is a great first step to getting comfortable with math.

2. Have your child help you in the kitchen

The kitchen is another haven for exploring math. Get your child to help you when you are cooking. Counting eggs on the tray, scooping out flour, pouring out a certain amount of milk or water. Other than this also familiarize the kids with measurement terms like liters, ounces, grams, kilos - all these are great ways to learn and practice measurement.

3. Let your child teach you the math skill that they are being taught in school

Instead of questioning or testing the knowledge of your child, when asking, tweak your tone to as if you are keen to learn what was taught to them. Let your child experience the thrill of teaching the parent instead. It works wonders.

4. Ask your child to explain how they reached a solution or answer

Almost a continuation of the earlier point. When helping your child with homework, an assignment or simply practicing math, avoid scolding or berating them if the answer is incorrect. Ask them to take you through how they reached the answer and then make them go through the steps once again this time guiding them how to reach the correct solution. Let them understand where they went wrong and what is to be done differently.

5. Help your child find some appropriate problem solving or math games online

Your child is going to love you for this. Instead of enforcing strict rules about device or tech usage, strike a deal with your child that they can earn screen time provided they agree to do something constructive with it. There is a wide range of educational math games available online to choose from which may in fact benefit the kid. Learning through play has been scientifically proven to have amazing results.

6. Play games that involve numbers or easy counting

Numbers are easily found in many games. Games involving shape sorting, money counting or keeping scores are a great way to integrate math into play with your kids. Card games and adding up values on dice are also good.

7. Explore prices and quantity when grocery shopping

Once again numbers are all around you. On a trip to the supermarket, encourage your child to explore numbers in various forms. Ask them to read the labels and tags and tell you quantity, price, dates. Ask them to check what items are on offer and compare prices. Help them understand how it works. Let them peep into the receipt and handle the loose change at the counter. Simple calculations with money are a particularly important math lesson in itself.

8. Compare using examples around – tallest, heaviest, lightest, shortest

Comparing values is an integral part of mathematics. Compare real life example and objects to establish a critical math concept. Bigger or smaller boxes, heavier or lighter bags of grocery, taller or shorter building- the options are unlimited and easy to spot around you.

9. Have tools such as ruler, measuring tape, weighing scale, measuring cups at home.

Children remember what they see way better than what they only hear or read. Using tools is fun. Get them to go play with the measuring tape for a day and record lengths of various objects at home. Same with the ruler for smaller items. If you don’t already have one, get a height chart and let them record how tall they are growing as weeks pass by. Same with the weighing machine. It is fun and keeps them engaged while at the same time they learn how to read measurement tools.

10. Share worksheets that involve simple math along with fun activity like colouring, drawing

Young children adore fun activities on paper. Instead of asking them to calculate using basic numbers, blocks, and bars- let them count and colour candy, mermaids and dinosaurs, and watch how enthusiastically they spend time doing math. Click to download free printable math worksheets.

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