Math seems to be one of the subjects that children struggle with the most. The Foundational Skills Assessment results for Nanaimo show that a full third of students in Grade 4 and Grade 7 are not yet meeting expectations. The results are similar for the whole of British Columbia.
What makes math so challenging? There are several theories, but what it comes down to is that in each grade there are fundamental foundational skills that need to be learned. If last year’s skills are weak, then the child has trouble learning this year’s fundamental skills. It becomes a progressive problem that frustrates teachers, students, and parents alike. The student and parents are told “more practice,” but they aren’t really told what to practice or how to practice.
How to Help Your Child Fall in Love with Math
When learning math, games and play are great. They engage both you and your child; the learning is almost a by-product of the game. Not only that, but it makes math relevant. Remember: if it bores you, it probably bores your kids too, so make it fun!
Below is one fun idea for each grade from K – 4. Get your older kids to help, invite friends over, or hire a fantastical tutor from a company like Tutoring…With A Twist*!
- Kindergarten –Try using your child’s favourite snacks. Have them count them, let them organize them into faces or towers. Let them snack—can you say subtraction?
- Grade 1 – Playing with dough—and actually baking it—is great. Which shapes can we make? How many teaspoons in a tablespoon? Let’s count!
- Grade 2 – Open a play store with Monopoly money (use round numbers as prices). Open a café with your child’s friends and sell the “snacks” they eat.
- Grade 3 – Play an adapted version of the card game War. Take out the face cards. Aces = 1. Deal the cards amongst the players. Each player puts down a card; whoever calls the product (multiplication) or the quotient (division) of the cards gets to keep them. The player with the most cards at the ends wins! (Remember to take the time to let your child come up with the answers.)
- Grade 4 – Pizza! Make at least 2 pizzas (or buy them). Let your child(ren) help pick the toppings and help in the prep if it’s appropriate. Cut them into different sizes (8 slices, 6 slices, etc.) A tasty way to learn fractions and equivalents.
The Twisted Tutors at Tutoring…With A Twist* not only support learners in every subject area, but we also help them develop life skills. By helping learners acquire the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, we also help them acquire the tools to succeed in life.
*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.