With back-to-school just around the corner, now is the time for parents to start preparing their young children for math class again.
A summer away from school is fun, but it can result in the “summer slide,” when math concepts and skills deteriorate each week due to lack of practice.
With just a little effort this erosion can be mitigated, according to Larry Martinek, chief instructional officer at Mathnasium. He created the Mathnasium Method™ taught at all Mathnasium centers.
Working on math skills with young children is not only valuable – it can be fun.
“Math practice needn’t be drudgery,” Martinek said.
“It can be a great everyday opportunity for bonding between young children and their parents.”
Martinek suggests sharing tasks with children.
“When you’re at a restaurant, give your third or fourth grader the bill and ask him to calculate the change,” said Martinek, who has developed the following tips for sharpening up children’s math skills:
- Have your child calculate how much change you should receive when shopping.
- Ask your child to figure out when to leave for destinations by explaining what time you need to arrive and how long it takes to get there.
- Tell your child you have six quarters and ask how many dimes that equals.
- Ask your child how much a half pound of candy costs, if a pound costs $6. If a half pound is $1.50, ask how much a whole pound costs.
The key to sharpening math skills is to use them, Martinek said.
These types of questions illustrate that math is a useful skill.
Mathnasium’s free booklets, “Math Tips for Students” and “Math Tips for Parents” are available at most Mathnasium franchise locations in the U.S.
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