Few children spent their summer vacations practicing bar modeling or calculating word problems.
However, this fall, it is expected that students will learn to reason abstractly and quantitatively and apply math skills to real-world situations.
This means your child will be learning math in a much different way than you did, and it’s more important than ever that you are available to support him through this transition.
Math will become more than rules and memorization, and will more closely follow a teaching method known as the Singapore Approach. The Singapore Approach teaches math using concrete, pictorial and abstract learning progression (CPA) to anchor learning in real-world, hands-on experience.
Encouraging Math Skills At Home
Your own attitude about math can affect your child’s attitude. Talk about math in a positive way, especially your own use of math. If you learned math differently than your child, learn along with your child and let her teach you! Inspire your child with your positive attitude.
Play a family game with countable pieces or one that requires handling money. Create an imaginary grocery store where your child is the cashier. Encouraging children to think of math outside the classroom in a fun way will support the hands-on methods of math class.
Use What You Have
If your child is struggling to master basic math skills, use flash cards and objects to demonstrate a math problem. Don’t be afraid to use words, drawings or toys to work through a difficult math concept together.
Math is part of our daily lives. Talk about math with your child without it being a formal math lesson by pointing out the math that is all around in real-world settings. For example:
- Baking is a great way for children to practice their fractions by using measuring cups and spoons. To challenge your older child, double or cut a recipe in half.
- A cell phone bill presents ample opportunity for math talk with your older child. Minutes, texts, dollar amounts and different plans allow for math talk.
- Watch or follow sports with your child. Sports are full of statistics. Children can learn to back up their opinion of their favorite sports team using sporting statistics.
Working with your child to develop a greater appreciation for math, and the essential skills it teaches, are fundamental for their future success in higher learning and in the workforce. Problem solving, critical thinking and perseverance are what the employers of the future will be looking for. And it’s even better if you can have fun with your kids while doing it!