You don't have to be a math expert or even have been good at math to help your child succeed at math. Your first line of help should be the child's teacher, but while you are waiting to hear back from the teacher, here are some easy ways at home to help.
1. You-tube: There are a ton of tutorials and videos on you-tube that your child and you can watch together on your smart-phone, tablet, or computer.
2. Be patient: Even when parents are frustrated with homework, stay calm. Encourage your child to be patient as well, in a quiet, calm voice. Smile! Even if you don't feel like it, it really will help. And follow it up by cracking a joke or two to get your child smiling.
3. Give praise: Always find something to praise your child for, even if it is just to compliment their hand-writing, how hard they are working, their creative use of different strategies, or to tell them you believe in them. Just be sure to be sincere.
4. Schedule time: whether it is an hour before bed, right after school, or right after dinner, make sure your child knows what time homework should be completed in your home. Post the time frame on the fridge so your child knows and is reminded.
5. Fuel: If you are doing homework right after school, give your child a snack and plenty of water. Your children work hard and play hard here at school. The water and snack will help them have plenty of energy.
The following link from the Department of Ed has fun activities to help build positive attitudes towards math.
When your child comes home from school on that first day, they are going to be so excited to share everything with you. As the days go by and we all get very busy, children often also forget to share their learning with you.
Here are some simple tips to continue to show your child your interest.
1) Say "last week you were working on....(insert fun school topic here!). How is that going now?"
2) "How is ....(name a project) going? I can't wait to see it.
3) When is .....(name an academic event) and would you like to attend as a family?
The article below is full of interesting and funny questions to also ask your children. When you care about what they learn, learning becomes more meaningful!
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.
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