Help her associate math with something special. Add a bit of math to a fun part of your day, like dessert time, television time or car rides. For example, if you'd like to relate it to a food-centered moment, try having the family play fast-answer math games, like seeing who can recite the hardest time-table without a mistake, to decide who gets first pick. When watching television, ask her to subtract one channel number from another. In the car, see which passengers can add up license plate numbers the fastest. Short, competitive games add a bit of playfulness to simple arithmetic and often incorporate multiple players.
Math and technology go hand-in-hand, so why not connect the two for your digital-crazed student? You can try a classic game like Number Munchers. Like many early, educational games, this 1980s classic can be found online. Find new games for your touchscreen device. Topics can be simple addition or complex test-prep math problems on a timer — all presented in a game-like fashion that keeps learning entertaining!
Math games don't end on the screen. For very young children, playing Go Fish with a deck of standard playing cards can help grow familiarity with numbers. Many board games have players roll then move, which adds an extra opportunity for counting practice as she moves the correct number of spaces each turn. Older children can include subtraction and higher counting by playing the banker in money-focused board games like Monopoly.
Like any subject, math gets a bad reputation when your student feels overwhelmed or confused. Be there to support her during homework obstacles, and help her find outside assistance if needed. Even if you don't know how to work through one of her questions, you can try looking online for free resources — such as videos, lessons or example problems — or seek the help of experts, such as tutors. Keep her from sinking when she's young and encourage excitement for math.
For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit varsitytutors.com.
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