How to help your child use maths in real life

Here are some good ideas from the Huntington Learning Center for getting some real maths into your child’s life, eg by checking real sport scores and looking at sports statistics, learning about compound interest with a real savings account, looking at doubling and halving to adjust recipes when cooking, practising addition and subtraction in context while shopping… and more.

Just a word of warning. If a child doesn’t understand something that you’ve just tried to explain, you need to keep your cool and think about the next logical step you can take to get it across. The following steps go backwards in order from (1) requiring a high level of understanding to (4) requiring a low level of understanding. So start at (1), and continue going down the list until your child gets it.

1 Try explaining a different way. If this doesn’t work…
2 Try reducing the size of the numbers involved. So if you were up in the 100s, go down to the 10s. If this doesn’t work…
3 Get some hands-on materials that you can use to represent the situation and model the maths situation using these materials. Your child obviously needs to SEE it in action. If this doesn’t work…
4 Get the real items you are talking about in the maths situation if you can, AND reduce the size of the numbers even further (below 10). Now your child should get it!

Also, don’t expect a child to remember anything after one explanation. They need lots of modelling.



Comments

How to help your child use maths in real life — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked.

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