(StatePoint) For many students, math can seem like a chore. Not only are the concepts sometimes tough at first, but teachers are required to keep their lessons moving at a particular pace, making it easy for any student to get lost in the classroom shuffle.
Parents however, can help make math more fun and engaging at home, helping students excel in school and enjoy themselves in the process. Here are a few ideas and tips for doing so.
• Pie Graph: Bring pie graphs to life by using real pies. First, bake together, assigning your child all the tasks that use numbers and math: measuring, counting and setting the timer on the oven. After the pie has cooled, it’s time to demonstrate the visual concept of halves, quarters and thirds. Ask your child to convert these fractions into percentages and decimals. Correct answers get a sweet reward!
• Gear Up: Math is no fun when one is not equipped to succeed. Ensure your child has a high-quality calculator that’s appropriate for his or her grade level. The K-12 line from Casio includes basic calculators, scientific calculators and graphing calculators that contain up-to-date functions that help distill math concepts.
• Play Shop: Teach kids how money works, while reinforcing adding, subtracting, and how tax is calculated. Pretend you are running a “store.” Take turns being the customer and the shopkeeper. This is also a great opportunity to learn about budgeting and saving.
• Use Free Fun Resources: Online math games can reinforce classroom concepts in a way that is fun and allows students to set their own pace. Check out free online resources like the Lesson Library at casioeducation.com. Their collection of graphing games can be used with a graphing calculator to help students better understand graphic concepts and the equations behind them.
• Play Ball: Cater to your student’s extracurricular interests. If your child has a love of sports, make a game of assessing team and player statistics. If your child loves music, evaluate favorite songs for patterns, rhythms and intervals. Literature buffs may find that poetry can be mathematical. Those who like to work with their hands will find the need for math in crafting, sewing and model kit building.
Math is not only essential to academic success; its mastery is useful in all facets of life — from understanding one’s finances to landing a job in an emerging technology sector. Help students get a leg up in their math classes by encouraging a love for the subject.