Sound math skills are essential to the academic and personal success of every child. Following are some tips advised by educational experts that parents can use to tune up, rev up and accelerate their children's math skills.
1. Discuss with your child the types of jobs that use math skills
How often do we hear, "Why do I have to learn algebra?" It is important to make your child realize how important math is in our everyday lives and especially in our careers. Who do you know who deals with spreadsheets or budgets filled with numbers and formulas? Who reads diagnostic reports that include numbers and graphs? Who calculated the slant of the roof on your house?
2. Talk maths
Wherever you go, whatever you are doing, talk math. For example, at the grocery store, ask your child, "How many __ do you see? How much more does this one cost? How much change should I get back? What's the sale price if it is 30% off the regular price."
3. Bake a cake
Baking incorporates several different math concepts - measurement, volume, and time just to name a few. You measure the ingredients using the proper measurement tool, determine the size of the baking dish, decide which bowl will hold all of the ingredients, and set the timer for the baking time.
4. Explore the Internet
There are many educational as well as entertaining sites on the Web related to math.
5. Traveling by car
For years, children have called out the different license plates they see on other cars. Why not have them keep a written tally of how many they see, or how many red, blue, black or purple cars they see? Then they could analyze the result by calculating the percentages, creating bar graphs or drawing pie charts.
6. Traveling by airplane
Before your trip, have your child research how many miles you will be traveling, along with distances to other destinations. Then, work with your child to use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to make a chart of various combinations. Let's say you're traveling from Baltimore, Maryland, to Nashville, Tennessee. Is this trip longer or shorter than traveling from Baltimore to New York City? By how much?
7. Talk money
Does your child receive an allowance? If so, have your child calculate how much interest could be earned if the money were placed in a savings account. Or how much more will be he/she get next year if given a 5% increase? Discuss how much needs to be saved toward a college education or a new car.
8. Make flashcards
We have all seen flashcards for math facts (2+16=18). You can buy these cards ready-made or make your own. But don't stop there - help your child make cards for math vocabulary (triangle - a figure with 3 sides) or concepts and theorems.
9. Money doesn't grow on trees
It's good to teach kids the reality of money. Discuss all the various living expenses you incur -- rent or mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, groceries, gas, clothes, school supplies, insurance, etc. Have your child make a chart and discuss ways to save money in each area.
10. Learn how to use a calculator
Don't let your teen wait until the day before an exam to start practicing with a new calculator. This is particularly important for big tests such as college entrance exams.
Test Taking Tips for the Students.
To be most supportive of their children as they face an array of standardized testing during their school years, parents need to make sure they are appropriate in their own attitudes about test-taking and that they are not placing overt or undue pressure on their children. Often a parent's past experience with testing, especially when bad, will project very negative or worried attitudes that are easily transferable to their child. It is important to deal with testing issues in a positive way because negative reflections from a parent can seriously affect a child's test performance.