Ten Ways to Improve Math Skills

1.  Make sure your children understand mathematical concepts
Otherwise, math becomes a meaningless mental exercise of just memorizing rules and doing rote drills. Have your children use manipulatives in order to visualize the math that is occurring.

2.  Help them master the basic facts.
Mastery of a basic fact means that children can give an answer in three seconds or less. Considerable drill is required for children to give quick responses. Use flash cards, play math games, and internet math games to practice frequently. If a child doesn't seem to understand the answers, use manipulatives to help them understand.

3.  Teach them to write their numbers neatly.
25% of all mathematical errors occur because of sloppy number writing or not lining numbers up correctly. Improve your children's number writing skills by having them trace over numbers you have written, or by using graph paper to write the numbers neatly and more organized.

4.  Provide help immediately when your children need it.
Math is one subject in which everything builds upon what has been previously learned. For example, failure to understand fractions leads to problems with decimals.

5.  Show them how to handle their math homework.
Doing math homework reinforces the skills your children are learning in class. Teach them to begin every assignment by studying the textbook or worksheet samples.

6.  Encourage your children to do more than the assigned work.
Considerable practice is necessary for your children to become comfortable with their math skills. If the teacher only assigns the even numbers, having them do the odd problems will strengthen their skills.

7.  Explain how to solve word problems
Teach your children to read a word problem at least two times, if not more, in order to fully comprehend what is being asked of them. Have them draw a picture of what is happening in the word problem, or make a chart in order to describe it. Ask them what is being asked of them, what type of operation is necessary and why, and discuss the steps necessary to solve the problem.

8.  Help your children learn the vocabulary of mathematics
Check to see if your child can define vocabulary words from the book. Words that are not learned should be written on note cards, and you can play Go Fish or Concentration with the vocabulary words and definitions.

9.  Teach them how to do math in their head- "Mental Math"
Help them to understand that if they know 2+3=5, then they can solve 20+30=50.

10.  Math math a part of your child's daily life.
Math will become more meaningful when your kids see how important it is in so many real life situations. Encourage them to use math in practical ways. For example, ask them to space new plants a certain distance apart, double a recipe, and count money when paying bills in stores.


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