It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it’s always a good time to make great choices about your kids' math learning! A student’s improvement and success in math depend not only on the child; parents can also take steps to get their kids math help.
Below are some simple things parents and children can do on a daily or weekly basis to help everyone feel more confident in math. A few of these things may be challenging, especially for adults who have deeply ingrained anxieties related to math, but most of them are so easy you’ll barely have to think about them. And some of them are so much fun, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing them before!
5 Math Resolutions for Kids
1. Ask at least one question a week in math class. It’s OK to raise your hand and speak up if you don’t understand something. Chances are someone else in the class has the same question!
2. Do your math homework first. You probably have homework in multiple subjects, and if math is something you struggle with, you might be tempted to put it off. Doing math homework first, while your brain is fresh, will give you better results than waiting until you’re tired.
3. When you’ve completed a math assignment (or if you have time at the end of a test), take just a few minutes to double-check your answers. You’ll be surprised how often a wrong answer is actually the result of a simple calculation mistake.
4. Read a book that includes math. A good book is a painless way to soak up some math. Here’s a great list of 30 fun math books for all ages. There’s sure to be at least one you’ll love!
5. Join a math club or participate in a math competition. Taking math out of the classroom and into the social realm is a great way to make math fun and to become better at it!
5 Math Resolutions for Parents
1. Ask your child at least one math-related question every day. You can do this at the store when you’re tallying up grocery prices, ask a logic riddle around the dinner table, or just ask about their math class that day. (And by the way, if you’re looking for math-related riddles, our weekly word problem challenges are the perfect place to start!)
2. Focus on concepts, not just straight answers. Instead of asking “What’s the answer?”, ask “How would you solve that?” or “Why should you use that formula here?”
3. Play family games that include math. Games that involve money are great, such as Monopoly or The Game of Life, but even more math-specific games, such as Four Way Countdown, Connect Four, or Chess, are fun for the whole family! And don’t forget about the games you can play on family road trips to improve math and make the trip seem shorter.
4. Help your child manage their time. Kids who are overscheduled are bound to get stressed out, and all of their grades—including math—will suffer. You can help your child prioritize their tasks so that they have time to study and do homework without feeling rushed.
5. Keep a positive attitude about math! Parents who feel that they’ve had trouble with math can unwittingly pass their anxiety on to their children. You don’t have to expound on how much you love math if it isn’t true, but avoiding expressing negative thoughts and feelings can save your kids a lot of stress and insecurity.
And of course, one of the best things you can do to improve your child’s skills and scores in math in the new year is...
6. Take your child to Mathnasium for a no-obligation first visit!