Tips on making math count with kids


Parents can help students see the value of math by making connections to everyday life.

THERE’S good news for parents who are concerned that their children’s math skills may need improvement.

Investing a little time and effort with their child can really add up when it comes to having their child acquire the math skills he or she needs. That’s the word from the experts at Sylvan Learning, who offer the following tips:

Tip 1: Strengthen core skills—Success in math requires practicing math skills, which helps to create confidence with the subject and provides a strong foundation for success. If your child is struggling in math, talk to your child’s math teacher to learn about extra help and other available school resources.

Tip 2: Use technology—Today’s “Net Gen” students find technology-infused instruction especially engaging. According to research from Ohio State University’s Center for Cognitive Science, math technology and how-to instructional videos allow students to “come to the understanding themselves using their critical thinking skills instead of relying on memorization.”

That’s one reason Sylvan Learning created It’s an online math resource designed to engage students in grades 7 to12 who are used to interactive resources.

Tip 3: Keep It Real—Parents can help students see the value of math by making connections to everyday life. Think of everyday tasks that can be “teachable math moments”-from cutting slices of pizza to getting gas for the car.

Tip 4: Make your child math confident—Praise your children’s academic progress. Tell them that you are proud of their math efforts even when they struggle. When students are confident in their abilities, they enjoy learning.

Tip 5: Encourage your child to take algebra—Children should be encouraged to take algebra as early in their educational careers as possible. Experts, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), believe students who do not master algebra risk missing important opportunities for growth and may not be able to complete college prerequisite courses.

Parents who are concerned—or curious—about how well their child may measure up in algebra can take matters into their own hands by screening their child’s readiness through Sylvan’s Fit4Algebra website.

There’s a host of free resources at the site, including online math challenges, entertaining games, interactive concept tutorials, and links to thousands of math questions with answers.

For more resources and information concerning how you and your child can master math together, visit North American Precis Syndicate


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