Addition or Subtraction? Helping Children with Math

Arts and Education, Growth and Development
Math time

Helping your kids boost their math grades won’t happen overnight, but these proven methods will help.

Use everyday objects. Kids will be more likely to learn math if they feel it is relevant. They’ll feel it is relevant if they see it being used in the real world. The Ontario Ministry of Education recommends including your child in making purchases, measuring ingredients, counting silverware at the dinner table or figuring out how long it will take until an anticipated event will occur. Playing games and solving puzzles using math will force children to use math while having fun.

Do mental math. Not all kids solve math problems the same way. Ask your kid to explain how he or she reached a particular answer and you might be surprised. This is called mental math. Having students explain how they solved a specific problem gives you insight on how to better help when trouble comes.

Be positive. Being positive refers to your belief that math is learnable and your attitude toward the subject. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) encourages parents to show their children that they like math and that it is important.

Play games. If there’s a basic math skill that needs reinforced, there’s a game that will help. Board games that require simple calculations, card games that require number and pattern recognition, or dice games that requires counting or percentages turn family game night into family math night. has several simple games that involve math. They include comparing numbers with cards, using a calculator, and using dice and coins to make money.

Set high standards. Regardless of how difficult your children find math, you must be clear that you expect them to learn it. When kids are challenged and, in some cases, rewarded appropriately, they will be more likely to rise to the occasion.

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