The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:
When parents ask what they can do at home to help their children improve their math grades, here’s one of the things that I always tell them: Make sure your son or daughter has memorized all of the basic facts! Depending on grade level, this includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
As the pace in school continues to accelerate, your child cannot afford to take the time to count on their fingers. They need to be able to use that time and energy to focus on answering the complicated problems that math curricula now include.
Repetition is the key. Like it or not, going over math facts again and again is the way to cement them into a child’s memory. Here are some ways to make the process more fun:
1. Make numbered beanbags. Add or multiply the numerals on the bean bags that land in a container, such as a laundry basket.
2. Pick up an inexpensive workbook or make some review sheets. You fill in the answers – some right and some wrong. Let your child correct the paper and give you a “grade.”
3. Purchase or make flash cards out of index cards. Graph the time it takes your child goes through them. Set a goal to reduce the amount of time it takes for them to get all of the problems correct. Do something special, like a half-hour late bedtime bonus, to celebrate when your child meets that goal.
4. Borrow a set of dice from another game. Roll the dice, then add or multiply the numbers. Record your score. The first person to get to a pre-determined number, like 50 or 100, wins.
5. Make a math concentration game. Put math problems on one index card and the answer on another. Students must find a match in order to keep the cards.
6. Play Top-It. Shuffle a regular deck of playing cards. Distribute. Play the same way as Dominoes War (below).
7. Play Dominoes War. Each pair gets 20 dominoes. Turn over two at a time. Add, subtract or multiply the dots, depending on which skill you are trying to reinforce. The person with the higher number gets to keep all four dominoes.
8. Utilize these free sites for more math practice:
What kind of math games do your kids like to play?
|Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.|