Have you ever heard your child say, "I'm not good at math"? Or "Math is hard"? You're not the first parent to hear this, and certainly won't be the last. But, how you respond to these statements can make or break your child's perception of math. Your job is to help make math as positive as possible.
Your feelings will have an impact on how your child thinks about math. Do you like math, or do you consider yourself good at it? If the answer is no, you could be coloring his or her perception of this very important subject.
Math is more critical than ever. Not only are "No Child Left Behind Act" standards demanding more math skills, but colleges are also expecting higher levels of math. Careers that placed little emphasis on math in the past are now adding math skills to requirements.
Math is more than counting! Everything involves math of some sort. It is present in different forms whenever we pick up the phone, travel somewhere, tell time or play a game. All subjects are linked with math including physics, statistics, chemistry and biology. It is used in architecture and designing, as well as in many forms of businesses.
So no matter what your child wants to do when he or she grows up, they will need to be proficient in math. Of course, not everything they learn in school will be needed later, but you never know what they will need, so the more math they know and have to build on, the better off you'll be.
If it isn't already, math will become very real to your child when he or she starts receiving an allowance or is paid to mow the neighbor's lawn. Then they'll be glad they did their math homework. So, do the math!
On a basic level your child needs to be able to count, add and subtract, sort and match. They will start to learn how to compare, do some simple fractions and estimate. Practice counting, comparing, adding and subtracting numbers with them.
In addition to adding and subtracting, your child will also be expected to learn their multiplication tables and division. They should be able to add and subtract coins and understand basic word problems. Additionally, they should be able to read numbers from 0 to 1000, as well as be able to compare and order these numbers and mentally add and subtract numbers up to around 20.
At this point, your child should have mastered their multiplication facts up to 12; be able to understand and identify geometric shapes and patterns; be comfortable with place values; use measurement terms such as inches, feet, yards and meters; make accurate measurements; and have a solid understanding of temperature and time. They also should be able to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators, determine ratios and complete word problems.
Middle School Math
Middle school is a critical time for building the math skills required in high school, college, work, and everyday life. It is designed for your children to be able to solve real world problems, explain their thinking to others, identify and analyze data trends, as well as use modern technology.
To help middle school students master complex math concepts, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education established the "Figure This" [http://www.figurethis.org/index.html] campaign. On this site, your child can choose from various challenges, each designed to promote their skills in algebra, geometry, measurement, numbers, statistics, or probability.
Look for real world examples to make math fun. Here are some suggestions: