"Once you learn math and continually use it, you forget how you learned it to start with." -Larry Martinek
What do your kids want to be when they grow up? A ballerina? Or an astronaut? Or "just like Mike"? Growing up, kids idolize their favorite singers, actors, and athletes, but kids might not understand that their heroes weren't born gifted. You and I know that they worked incredibly hard. Fortunately, this means that many dream professions can be attained with extensive practice. Practice math every day and that goal to become an astronaut will take your child very far.
Working on math skills outside of the classroom is crucial to developing a well-rounded grasp of how math is used in the real world. Just as basketball players and musicians do drills, practicing math concepts and skills over an extended period of time can be immensely rewarding. When your child sees that math is utilized everywhere in everyday life, the importance of math as a subject worth practicing will be obvious.
Here are a few ways you can practice math with your kids and prove the practical significance of the subject:
1. Have your kids help out in the kitchen - Preparing food or baking offers a great opportunity for kids to practice with fractions by measure dry and liquid ingredients.
2. Let kids figure out the change for a $10 bill and a $20 bill when they go shopping with you
3. Let them help trip planning - Sources like Google maps help children visualize distances and calculate travel times.
4. Watch the game together - Sports like football are full of statistics and calculations. Watch the game and talk about how these math skills are necessary, even in the world of sports.
5. Set up a hot chocolate stand - Allowing your child to handle and count currency in real-life
At Mathnasium, we use our proprietary Mathnasium Method to teach skills and convey the importance of math. It's a tried, true, and perfected method that uses a variety of mechanisms to cement learning just like we suggested above. Here they are:
Questions like "99 + 99 + 99" And "3/4 of 20" are best done mentally. Strong mental math skills help students develop confidence which is the heart of the both self-esteem and a willingness to explore math, in addition to being a much more efficient way to handle many situations. Many of our centers host free Multiplication Madness nights, a fun and motivating way to keep your children's skills sharp.
Direct Teaching and the Socratic Question are verbal modes of delivery. Also, asking students to explain how they got their answers is a verbal experience that can convey understanding.
A significant number of Mathnasium worksheets contain pictures that help students to focus on the critical attribute(s) of the question at hand.
When appropriate, our instructors use manipulatives (coins, dice, cards, scales, clocks, fraction circles, etc.) to guide and reinforce students' thinking.
Mathnasium teaches all of the standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as when written procedures are preferable to mental ones, and vice versa.
Mathnasium lessons involve a combination of these methods to provide an integrated math lesson that not only teaches, but builds confidence and self-esteem. In addition, our Brag Boards on Facebook and Twitter allow Mathnasium locations to showcase the hard work and success of their valued students. Thank you for your interest in how we make math make sense to kids, and how you can too.