Math all around the home
Have you ever wondered how you can help your child excel in math? The best way is practice and exposure.
There will always be books on learning at home and one of the most common practices is to tell parents to do things like cook with their children to teach math. That is a good strategy but not the only and not necessarily the best for your child.
Strategies for learning math at home:
- Cooking; Cooking is a great way to teach kids to count. It is also a good way to teach that a teaspoon is smaller than a tablespoon or a cup is smaller than a pint. I don’t disagree with any of this but one point that many parents don’t think of, as I admit I never did when my kids are little, is to show how three of those little scoops equals one of the bigger scoops (1/3 times 3 = 1). This can emphasize measurement, multiplication, fractions, and other areas that use any of these facts.
- Go through your cabinets! Did you ever notice that some cans are 12 ounces while others are 14.5? As adults who shop for the foods their families like, a lot of times we look for the package and don’t pay attention to the exact measurement in the packaging. Show your children this! Have them take cans out of the pantry. Sort them by units in each can. Sort them by size of the actual can. Turn the cans around and read the labels! There are percentages, measurements, and a lot of other information on the backs of cans.
- Have children keep track of what they drink. Do they know how many ounces are in a cup? Do they know how many ounces there are in their favorite cup? If they drink 5 cups of water in their favorite cup, how many ounces is that? This emphasizes addition, multiplication, measurement, statistics, and graphing.
- How many steps is it from the bedroom to the bathroom? What about the bedroom to the kitchen? How many steps in your staircase? How tall is the door to the bathroom? Is it the same as the front door of the house? What about the door on the cabinets? Obviously, the cabinet doors are smaller but by how much? These are all activities that reinforce math skills.
- Measure family members. Who is tallest? Who is smallest? This is comparing values! This also emphasizes ways to measure. No yardstick or anything else to measure? Well, what else can you use? A shoelace? Thinking about unconventional ways of measurement is a great critical thinking skill.
I hope I have given you some good ideas for math in the home. No need to buy anything special, no special equipment required. Be creative! With a pencil and paper, students can learn to log information, compare statistics, and make predictions! Math can be a lot of fun!