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Helping Your Child
Learn Math 

There are many ways parents can easily be involved in their children’s mathematics education. Parents' attitudes toward mathematics definitely have an impact on their children’s attitudes. Children whose parents show an interest in mathematics generally show more enthusiasm toward mathematics themselves.  

So, how can parents help their children become more enthusiastic and interested in mathematics?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Be positive about math! Let your child know that everyone can learn math.  Let your child know that you think math is important and fun. 
  • Be positive about your own math abilities. Try to avoid saying, “I was never good at math” or “I never liked math.”
  • Emphasize the importance of problem solving. Encourage your children to use trial and error to develop their ability to reason and to learn how to problem solve. They may learn that there can be more than one way to solve a problem and more than one answer.  
  • When your child is trying to solve a problem, ask what he or she is thinking. Encourage your child to be persistent if a problem seems difficult. If your child seems puzzled, ask him or her to tell you what doesn’t make sense. (Talking about their ideas and how they reach solutions helps children learn to reason mathematically. They also learn to express themselves more clearly!) 
  • Praise your child when he or she makes an effort. Treat errors as opportunities to help your child learn something new, and share in the excitement when he or she solves a problem or understands something for the first time.
  • Point out to your child the ways different family members use math in their jobs and everyday life. Encourage your child to tell or show you how he or she uses math in daily life. Include your child in everyday activities that involve math – making purchases, measuring ingredients, counting out plates and utensils for dinner.
  • Do math problems with your child for fun. In addition to math tools, such as a ruler and a calculator, use handy household objects, such as a measuring cup and containers of various shapes and sizes, when you do math with your child.
  • Play games and do puzzles with your child that involve math. They may focus on direction, time, logic and reasoning, sorting, or estimating.
  • Give gifts that encourage mathematical exploration such as a watch, a timer, an hour glass (egg timer), a calendar, a tape measure, a calculator, pattern blocks, books of brainteasers, 3-dimensional building kits, puzzles, maps, and a wide variety of games.
  • If your child shows an interest in music, consider enrolling him or her in lessons. Students who read and play music use the same parts of their brain as they do for math. Therefore, music often enhances a child's mathematics development.

Many people are willing to support you in helping your child learn math. Your child’s teacher can provide advice about helping your child with math. Consider involving relatives and friends to motivate your child about math. Older siblings, grandparents, family friends, and your child’s caregivers can add their support and encouragement.

If your child is behind in math or maybe you just want to provide math enrichment for your child, Success Center can perform a math diagnostic assessment that will show you exactly where your child is in his or her abilities in math computation, concepts, and problem solving. Contact Success Center to find out more about the math diagnostic assessment.