Mathematize Your Child

By Gienie Assink

Simple math exercises make a difference.  Children should being to develop a good grasp of numbers while they are young.  Although memorizing times tables and solving calculations are important, developing a solid sense of numbers is essential.  An understanding of the importance of math in their lives puts children well on their way to academic success.


Parents play useful roles in boosting their children’s “numbers sense.”  Here are some suggestions to help along the way.

Make math connections to real life.


There are plenty of opportunities for children to see how math is used.  Think of tasks you do every day—rearranging a teenager’s room is a lesson in geometry, and equally cutting slices of pie teaches fractions.  The more parents talk about how math can be fun, while completing these tasks, the more children will realize its importance.


Involve your son or daughter in real-life family decisions.


Allow them to plan a family activity while remaining in the set budget.  For example, plan a night at the movies or create a budget for that family vacation.  The important thing about creating a budget is staying within it, so be consistent.  Don’t go over the amount you agreed upon.


Demonstrate your math ability.


Think out loud so your children can hear your analytical reasoning.  For younger children, count your change or discuss which measuring cup is needed when cooking.  For older children, calculate discounts when shopping or how much money will be needed to fill up the gas tank.


“Mathematize” cool careers.


Casually “talk mathematics” while highlighting the types of math needed in your children’s chosen, “cool” careers.  Video game designers, interior decorators, football coaches and party planners utilize math sills every day.


Praise their academic progress.


Tell your children you are proud of their math efforts.  When students are confident in their abilities, they enjoy learning.  That love of learning leads to a willingness to try new, academic experiences.


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