As the parent of a grade-schooler, it can be hard to make learning fun. When my son began first grade, I wanted him to learn to love math as much as I did when I was his age. Here are some ways that parents can help their grade-schooler have fun with math.
Make Math a Daily Priority
Math time at my house is right after dinner. This allows my son to wind down from a long day at school. I serve different snacks every day. My son gets to count out the snacks and we add and subtract them so that he and his sibling can share what we have. After this, we do a math related activity such as making crafts or coloring pages. This helps to reinforce what he is doing in school. For example, we made paper clocks during his telling time unit. This also helped him with his daily homework assignments.
Use Math When on the Go
I try to make math fun by having my son get involved in activities while we are on the go. At the grocery store, he counts out items to me. I always have him weigh items. When we get to the register, I ask him how much change I will get back. I give him a pen and paper to find the answer. This really helps him see that math is useful in everyday life.
Utilize the Internet
My son loves to play games as most grade-schoolers do. There are many great websites that have online math activities for kids. Some of these website include: http://www.funbrain.com/brain/MathBrain/MathBrain.html, http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/, http://www.mathplayground.com/, and http://www.coolmath4kids.com/. I like these websites because they are very interactive and they help children to learn how to figure problems out on their own. My child does much better in school now that he uses these websites for about an hour three times per week.
Go Outdoors and Have Math Fun
My husband and I have a nice backyard area for the kids to play in. We have a basketball hoop so I create a game in which I ask my son math questions and for every right answer he gets to make a basket. We time him to see how long it takes him to get 20 answers right. We also let him use sidewalk chalk to do math problems outside. He enjoys this as he can do math and be creative at the same time.