MARICELA VALDOVINOS — Parents key in helping children excel in math

Published 12:10 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

Learning mathematics can be very challenging for some children.

However, with the support of parents or guardians at home and through the use of manipulatives, everyday examples and a positive study environment, can make learning math fun, engaging and rewarding.

Manipulatives are objects that can be moved or maneuvered to help students learn. Their various shapes and sizes can help children learn the basic mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

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Many objects found at home can help children learn math. For example, allowing children to use real money facilitates understanding financial literacy.

Children may use dry goods such as beans, cereal or uncooked pasta to count and practice estimation or measurement. Children can roll two or more dice to create their own expressions or equations and find the sum of numbers.

Math is all around us and parents can help their children learn this subject by incorporating it into their day-to-day life. Real world experiences allow for the connection between the skills learned at school and how these skills fit into their lives.

Baking or cooking together is an excellent way to bring fractions and ratios to life. Children can be asked to double the recipe or reduce it to half. When grocery shopping, children can add up prices or calculate discounts.

Doing so helps them reinforce a variety of mathematical skills. When traveling to school or long trips, parents can challenge their children to guess the time of arrival based on current speed and distance.

This will help them strengthen their number sense and grasp multiplication and division.

Parents play an essential role in their children’s education, and they can assist in their child’s learning process in various ways. Research shows that children who feel loved and supported thrive.

This is why it is important for parents to be patient and have a positive attitude by illustrating that challenges can be overcome with determination and an optimistic mindset. Parents can help their children create a positive study environment by setting the tone, the mood and attitude for academic success.

Distractions need to be kept to a minimum during study time. The absence of interruptions allows for effective study time, thereby improving the learning process. A clear, organized study space can significantly boost productivity.

Children should be encouraged to keep their workspace tidy and organized.

Consistency is vital when establishing a study schedule. Study time can create a routine for them to follow, reducing resistance to completing homework and increasing the chances that children will finish their homework on time.

Parents want their children to excel in school, especially in subjects like math, which lays the groundwork for many career paths.

Parents can reassure the child through the learning process which can be stressful and challenging.

Parents can also celebrate the small victories and help their children feel a sense of accomplishment.

Math is a step-by-step process. The goal is to help the child improve math skills over time and not achieve perfection overnight.

Maricela Valdovinos is Bob Hope School elementary campus director. For more information, call 409-983-3244.