What is your child’s favorite subject in school? When I asked several kids, most answered Science and English. My son too extremely loves Science followed by Araling Panlipunan. Let’s face it that Math is a tough subject. Even during the times that I studied in school, it is usually the subject where you can see low grades. My concern as a parent is on how my kids can cope up with Math in an interesting way. So, I came up with 5 Practical Tips to boost your Child’s Mental Math that we encounter in our daily life.
In today’s generation, we are thankful that there are multiple ways to help our child in improving their mental skills in different areas. With Math learning or enrichment center, I heard a lot of good feedback from parents who enrolled their kids in Kumon and Singapore Math. When I attended their parent seminar, I actually learned some tips and I applied it to my son. Although my seven-year-old child is not yet enrolled to this center, we are doing some in my list of 5 Practical Tips to boost your Child’s Math Skills.
5 Practical Tips to Boost your Child’s Mental Math
- Daily Math practice through worksheets.This is the basic concept that I learned from Kumon. A repetition of solving math problems at a given time limit. I usually make a worksheet for my son depending on their current lessons covered. If I am running out of time, I download some worksheets at http://www.math-drills.com. Sometimes we use Math window card. Answering worksheets may sound boring to your child but, hey mom! It is very effective. Practice makes them do well in numbers. The time limit encourages them to think and answer fast.Another tip is to give them a reward after they complete it.
- Letting your child involve in shopping for groceries. Supermarket is one of the best places for kids to explore with different words and numbers. The moment you enter the supermarket, you’ll start searching for sections, numbers, food labels, and prices of each item. I normally ask my son for help in searching a certain section. I let my child pick items for his healthy baon that would fit in a budget I set for him.He would mentally try to compute. Then, I’ll suggest or give him tips to add or subtract fast. As he gets familiar with money, prices, and totals, he also learns how to spend it wisely.
- Savings in a bank. I think saving in a bank at an earlier age is one powerful way to start building your money. Here in the Philippines, children age seven and above who can read and write can legally open savings and time deposit accounts, deposit and withdraw, using their own names and signatures, according to Presidential Decree No. 734, issued in 1975.For younger children, parents can open an In-Trust-For (ITF) accounts for them.Because hubby and I were talking about the advantage of having a trust fund, we are surprised when my son asked “Mommy, Do I have a trust fund?”. Kids are really smart nowadays. It is important to explain to your child the purpose of saving in a bank and the importance of money. Before heading to the bank, let your kid count the paper bills followed by the coins. I suggest you assign a money-box for his savings. Then, let him classify the money and get the sum. As your child sees his savings increasing, he gets smarter in adding large numbers.
- Letting them understand how to earn money. When my child knew how husband and I earned money for our living, he understands its significance. Subsequently, he thought of selling something that he likes. During the summer vacation, when I make fruit ice pops, he told me that he wanted to sell some to earn and save. He is already imagining of the price and how much he is going to earn. Although we were not able to sell fruit ice candy, I consider it another practical way to boost our child’s math skills. They can be young entrepreneurs. From the simple Ice candy selling or the popular Lemonade stand during vacation, it will surely enhance their mathematical ability through inventory, money handling, and giving change to the buyers. It is also a good way of interacting to different people.
- Cooking, baking or eating together. We may not notice that a simple cooking or baking activity is a practical way our child expand his math ability. The measurement that we do in cooking/baking preparation is good enough for our child’s mental math practice. When eating together, we tend to divide the food so that every member of the family can have a part. This is an easy approach for division or multiplication.
Setting the calendar and time management are other math-related activities. At home my son has his own calendar where he marks the current date and important events. From there, he counts the days left for an event that we are approaching (school or family events). We never want to miss an important event so we also teach him the value of time. There is always a right time for study, play, sleeping, and other activities.
There are countless ways that we can apply Math in our daily life. The use of the resources that you have and linking the activities that you usually do will help your child better understand and improve in Math.
How about you? Please share your thoughts… What are your Practical Tips to boost your Child’s Mental Math?
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