On my first day with my geometry students, I started class by playing various horror movie themes. I was making a joke about how frightening math can be, but the sentiment rings true for a lot of students. If this describes your child, it does not have to be that way. Here are some ways you can help your struggling math student to fall in love with this subject.
Let them play- Kids learn better when they are having fun. If your child likes computer games, many websites allow your child to practice their math skills while still having fun. CoolMath was one of my students’ favorites. Fun4thebrain is another good option. These websites are enjoyable and free.
You can also check your local teacher supply store and find some excellent math games, and don’t forget about classics like Monopoly and Rummikub.
Make it about money- Let your child help you calculate how much the groceries will cost as you are going through the store. Calculate sales prices or include your kids in making the family budget. You can even pay your child for each chore he/she completes, and allow them to add up their commission.
Explore mathematical careers- What do architects, special effects directors, astronauts, fashion designers, and meteorologists all have in common? They all use math, and your child may find them to be pretty cool. Find a local company and ask if you can tour the facility or ask if you child can shadow an employee for a day.
Fantasy sports- If your child loves sports, why not get them involved in a fantasy league, or set up your own? Fantasy scores are calculated by assigning a number of points to each statistic. For example, in my football fantasy league, a player received one point yard for every ten yards, and six points for every rushing touchdown. A player with 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns would score 19 points. If your child is interested in sports, this may be a good way for them to practice their skills.
Find math everywhere- Math is more than an academic subject. Math is integrated into every facet of our lives. Let your child practice telling time and calculating how much time they have left to get ready. Include them when cooking and measuring ingredients. The more relevant math is for your child, the more comfortable they will be with the material.