Is your child struggling with math concepts or behind for their grade level? The most important piece of the puzzle is to practice math everyday! This can be as simple as just making sure they complete 5 workbook problems from one concept each day. However, that type of practice is sometimes tedious, boring and uninspiring for students. Instead, try to embed math concepts in your daily conversations and activities. You will be surprised at how much math really applies in our homes and daily lives!
You can incorporate hands on learning throughout the day with math in your home. Have your child cook and bake with you. This will help with conversations around fractions, measurement, ratios, estimating, addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. I also like to encourage kids to setup a restaurant that includes a menu (language arts practice!) as well as priced items that need to be added. You could take this to the next level by adding taxes, coupons, etc. It’s quite fun!
Measuring and geometry can come into play during building and designing. Have students work to first draw their ideas and then get the woodshop items out to create it! This is another hands-on fun way to use math that engages students while they create and perfect their ideas while using project based and student led learning.
Games are another way to engage students in improving their math skills is to provide fun practice activities. There are great websites and apps that make math game-based and fun — check out DreamBox, mathisfun.com and arcademics.com.
Right Start math also has a great book of math games, and a quick online search can help you find some games that you can purchase or just make at home using materials such as a deck of cards. Here are some great suggestions from the The Mind Research Institute.
Finally, the last tip we have is to pose a Weekly Challenge Question for each child. Write on the wipeboard or put it on the refrigerator. This can be something that is just a bit of stretch for them but also something they can ponder for a while. For example, giving an elementary student a basic algebraic reasoning questions, such at 5+x=9, works on foundational and future skills. You can even give an incentive for their correct answer.