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Your Child Can Do Math – 8 Tips For Parents
Many children are left behind for lack of math skills. Schools today seem to be poorly preparing students for math at the middle and high school levels. Here are 5 tips parents can use to help their child succeed in math.
1) Start early. Before your child goes to kindergarten, he should be familiar with small numbers, up to 10. Two is easy to teach and to underline. Pair of socks, shoes, etc. Five fingers on one hand and toes on the feet. Ten fingers and toes in total.
2) In preschool, start counting to 20. Add small numbers, 1 plus 1 is 2. 2 plus 1 is 3. You can even start fraction halving. Half a sandwich and other foods are a good start.
3) By the end of kindergarten, your child should be able to count beyond 20 and know what larger numbers mean as well. Don’t work with them, just be familiar.
4) In first grade, it is essential that your child begins basic math facts. Most schools do a good job of starting basic math facts.
5) From second to third grade, you need to make sure your child becomes an expert in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of all numbers between 0 and 12. You may need to get copies of worksheets or flash cards. This is the MOST important step you can take to begin setting the stage for your student to succeed in math. Too many children today go through the first 6 years without these skills. Without it, they cannot do fractions or any higher concept.
6) By fourth grade, and possibly earlier, your child should be an expert in fractions. Everything and anything. Again, additional worksheets and instructions are probably essential. This will be an impossible task if your child has not followed tip #5 above.
7) In all the above steps, it is imperative to do oral and mental calculation. Without this skill, your child will forever be stuck with pencil and paper. And the more work on paper with a pencil, the greater the chance of error. And, your child will be forced to follow the steps instead of “just doing the math”. Doing oral and mental calculations makes a person very comfortable with mathematics. Many adults have a math phobia, largely due to their inability to make mental calculations. How to do? Driving, cooking, shopping, sightseeing, in almost any situation, you can train your child in math. If a box costs $2, how much is 2? How many horses do you see? Count the blue cars. Are there more boys than girls? Anything! Be creative. You can even have them recite the multiplication tables. It will also set the stage for an important skill they need to master. Word problems! How many times have you heard people say they can’t solve word problems? The speaking problems you make up are just another form of word problems. If your child is used to doing math, without problems written on paper, your child will not fear word problems. If you categorically do the above, there is one last step. Sometimes it’s out of your control, but do your best!
8) Put your child in a class where there is an effective algebra teacher, and all math classes beyond sixth grade. You may find it difficult, but the only one fighting for your child is you!
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