Encourage a Positive Attitude Toward Math
It’s around this age that many youngsters become discouraged by math and begin to think of it as a subject they’re just not good at. Be aware of this and try to prevent your child from developing a defeatist attitude toward math. Encourage him to stick with it when a problem appears difficult and to approach it in different ways.
Read Math Problems Out Loud
If your child is struggling with math problems, have him read each problem out loud slowly and carefully, so he can hear the problem and think about what is being asked. This helps him break down the problem and come up with problem-solving strategies.
Integrate Math into Everyday Activities
Continue to find ways to integrate discussion of math concepts such as “times as much” into your everyday activities. Compare the weights of your child and his siblings, or the family pet. Figure out how many times your cat’s weight your child weighs, and how many times your child’s weight his father weighs.
Keep an Eye Out for Math Concepts
Encourage your child to spot examples of some of the math concepts he is learning about. See how many right angles or right triangles he can spot. Or have him look for parallel lines, such as train tracks or pillars in a building.
Highlight How Math is Used in Cooking
Baking and cooking are among the best ways to familiarize your child with how fractions work. Having him help out in the kitchen also reinforced valuable sequencing skills and time management concepts.
Practice Math in the Car
When you have a long trip to take in the car and your child asks how long until you get there, have him answer the question himself by using math. Tell him how fast you’re traveling and how far away you are, and see if he can estimate how long it will take you to arrive.
Use Math in House Projects
Encourage your child to use his math skills for projects around the house. If you’re wallpapering or carpeting, for example, have him calculate wall or floor areas and figure out the total cost of various materials.
Encourage Math Appreciation Through Sports
Sports provide a fun and engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts, starting with basic addition. The halves of a soccer game or the quarters of a football game offer an illustration of how fractions work in the real world. If your child enjoys a sport, encourage him to explore it through math.
Encourage Music Appreciation
Music is a great way for your child to engage with concepts related to math. Practicing an instrument means learning about tempo, measure, and meter—all of which involve math.
Play Family Games
Plenty of family games incorporate math. Tic tac toe, Connect Four, many card games, and dominoes are just some of the games that help build strategic thinking and math skills.