The first week of school is here (or has already begun) for your little student. As they come trudging home from the bus stop with a backpack full of books, writing assignments, and math homework, how can you best support their math skills and help them flourish inside and outside of the classroom? Nowadays, math homework has changed from the simple addition and subtraction methods of your youth to more complicated systems designed to eliminate confusion for children. Here are some tips to stop the screaming and start the subtraction!
Before you can troubleshoot and determine what step your child is having difficulty with, support them by listening to what they don’t understand. Don’t immediately try to correct your child, as that can lead to a lot of frustration and a lot of tears. Instead, listen to what they thought they were supposed to do and their thought process. By listening to their explanation, you can understand where they went wrong and properly address it.
Thinking Out Loud
Talking through a problem out loud is something that countless adults do every day without ever being conscious of it. You might be surprised how much math you do in a day, whether it is to calculate what change you need to give out or mentally calculating the appropriate tip amount for your dinner bill. Every time you catch yourself doing everyday math in front of your child, let them know what you are doing and talk through the problem. Even if the math is too advanced, you are signaling to them that it is an important aspect of everyday life.
Don’t Just Memorize, Understand
While education has gone through many trends, including trying to replace memorization with conceptual understanding, for optimal math success you should teach your child to marry memorization with understanding. By memorizing math facts, your child will learn how to do basic math problems with ease and without having to go through complicated steps. For example, what is 4 times 5? Chances are, you knew without ever having to calculate the figure in your mind. Beyond memorization, your child should also be able to understand the logic behind the method so that they can apply their knowledge to future situations. What is 13 times 56? You almost definitely don’t know that off the top of your head, but you do know how to solve the problem.
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Challenge 4 Kids is a dynamic program aiming to support the schools that provide the educational foundation every child needs today and shape young people into the leaders and movers-and-shakers of tomorrow. We utilize L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Effective Communications, Attitude, and Development of People Skills) principles to help your kids grow as individuals and fundraise for your school. To learn more about how we can help your school and your child achieve fundraising success, contact us online or give us a call at (443) 429-4356. To get more fun ideas for your family and fundraising, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest!
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