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Practicing Greater Than, Less Than, and Equal To at Home

Learning about the topic of “inequalities” is an important math skill. I remember learning that the “alligator” always eats the bigger number. This means that the opening of the greater than or less than sign would face or be “eating” the larger number. To bring this skill to life for practice at home, you only need a few craft items. This includes popsicle sticks, markers, googly eyes, glue, and pompoms. You will take two popsicle sticks and glue them together at the ends to make the “greater than” and “less than signs”. You should also make a set of equal signs (these don’t need eyes). You can color them different colors to differentiate for your child, then add an eye to each of you

Helping your Child with Math at Home

Many parents fear helping their child with their math homework at home. They may feel they don’t have the math skills or ability to help their child, might have had a bad experience learning math in their own education, or feel that they are not up with the newer ways teachers are teaching math. Fear not, as there are so many resources to help you to buff up your own skills while helping your child with their homework. First off, you should always read through the workbook or textbook pages your child may be working on before sitting down with them. This may only take you 5-10 minutes to read through the pages, complete a few of the problems to help you reboot those skills from your memor

Beyond Numbers

Dice don’t always have to be used for number and math games. Language-based games can also be played with dice. Some of these games use standard number dice to represent letters, where as others use dice that have letters, words, or pictures on them. You can buy word-based dice or you can even create your own dice cubes using paper. There are many websites that have samples already created that all you have to do is print them out and then fold and tape them together. One word-based game that uses regular dice is called Make Words. Each letter in the alphabet is given a value based on the number of the die roll. You roll a single die 6 times. Each time you roll the die you select one

Rolling On – Great Games for Travel (Day 2)

There are so many games that you can play with a set of dice. For younger children you can use the dice to practice counting, addition, and subtraction. You can make and laminate game board where children will have to roll the die (or dice) and then move forward or backward a number of spaces depending on the directions provided. Some examples include Rolling for 50,Bunny Hop, and Cover Up. Some games that will help your child learn multiplication skills include Run for It, Land Plot, Boston (Multiplication). Land plot is a great game for older children. You will need laminated graph paper and the markers discussed in the previous post. The child rolls two die and then uses those numbe

A Roll of the Dice

During the holiday season you may find that you family is traveling a lot either by car or by plane. This time can be put to good use by continuing your child’s learning. An easy way to incorporate practicing math skills while on the road would be to use dice. They are small and easily transportable and great for a wide variety of math games for kids of all ages. Setup – Dice & Game Boards (day 1) The first thing you will want to do is get a set of dice and place them inside of a small storage container. This will allow your child to “roll” the dice, but not have to worry about where they may end up if they were not contained. Here is a photo example. This is great for on the road, but

Hands-on Money Activities at Home

There are many inventive ways to teach your children about money at home. For younger children, the first step is to have them learn to distinguish between the different coins and bills. They should be able to sort the coins by their appearance, learn their value, and begin to be able to count them. You can also use this to reinforce addition and subtraction skills as well as learning the skill of skip counting. Older child should able to easily count money, count change, calculate tips, or even learn about the process of saving, spending, giving, and investing. These are all very important life skills and help children to practice good financial thinking at an early age. In addition,

Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Child with Math Homework

Every day when I get home from work my two teen girls meet me at the door asking me for help with math homework. At the beginning of this school year, I realized a pattern – they were often not even starting the assignment before coming to me for help. I would ask them casually, “What concepts are you struggling with?” When I continued to receive blank stares, I realized that my eagerness to help my kids was enabling them to give up easily, not take risks or rely on their own problem-solving skills, and immediately seek help when they encountered a potentially challenging concept. Whether you are a homeschool parent or just trying to help your child with math homework, you know that math can

Fun and Motivating Math Video Games You and Your Child Will Love

Video games are often heavily debated in parenting, homeschooling, and other educational circles, most notably for their vulgar and violent tendencies. However, there are numerous games targeted towards kids that can be very fun and educational, especially on the Wii Console. There are also many ways to make sure your child’s video game experience is safe and secure. Get started by downloading this resource, A Parent’s Guide to Video Games, Parental Controls, and Online Safety. It can help you choose age appropriate games, understand ESRB video game rating systems, set up parental controls, and structure family discussions on gaming and safety. Video games can actually be a very exciting edu

Technology & Graphing (Part 3)

Another way to encourage you child, no matter their age, to learn and practice creating and reading graphs at home is by using technology. There are programs and websites that make learning about graphs fun. Excel is the most popular graphing program that is used in the business world. Teaching your child the basics of creating a data table and a graph in Excel is a very useful experience. It is a skill that they will be able to use in school and possibly in their future career. Here are some activities to practice with Excel at home for various ages. In addition here are directions that may help you as a parent to brush up on your Excel skills before teaching your child. There are also

The “Plot” Thickens: Upper Elementary Graphing Skills (part 2)

The older children get, the more challenging the graphing skills become. Children will start to solve problems based on reading and analyzing a graph and build a graph based on data that they collect as well as data that is provided for them. In addition they will learn about coordinate pairs and graph them on a line graph as well as learning about circle graphs. Concepts of mean, median, and mode will also be taught. These topics are typically taught during math class, but can also overlap into reading, social studies, and science. You can incorporate practice of these skills at home in several ways. One way is by sharing graphs that may be in articles that you are reading in print or

Graph This!

All through elementary school, children build their mathematical graphing skills. This skill helps children to analyze data quickly by learning to read and create graphs. It is also a difficult skill for children to master. Scaffolding the learning of graphing is very important. There are many activities you can do at home to support your child’s graphing growth. Children begin learning about graphs through picture bar graphs. Teachers typically will ask the students a question like “what is your favorite type of apple: Red, Green, or Yellow?” and then graph it with the children either using pictures or even actual apples. This tactile activity allows the children to be kinesthetically

The Bases of Math

Teaching children about the bases of math can be a confusing concept, especially if you are unfamiliar with how to explain the topic. Learning bases is an easier way to express place value with whole numbers and helps children learn to count. The system we typically use is a base ten system; however, a base system can be expressed with any numbers including 2, 5, or 12. This is a skill that can be practiced at home to reinforce their learning in school. When practicing the concept of base ten at home you start off in the one’s column and then you would advance to the 10’s column, 100’s column, 1000’s column and so on. Mathematically speaking, 1×10 = 10, 10×10=100, 10×100=1,000. Children

Fast Facts

Learning multiplication facts is an essential math skill to learn in elementary school. In third grade, students begin to learn and memorize the factors between 0 and 12. By fourth and fifth grade, they need to utilize those skills for higher level math problems including word problems, utilizing them with fraction-base problems, and algebra-based questions. There are many things that you can do at home to help your child improve the speed and accuracy of their multiplication facts. One tried and true method is by using flash cards with your child to practice memorizing the facts. The flash cards have one side with the problem and the opposite side with the solution. You can either buy

Learning to Count

When my son was a baby, my mother shared how she taught us all to count. There were four of us and we all really knew how to truly count by age three. I was a bit skeptical but I tried it with my son then and ten years later I’m doing the same with my daughter with similar successful results. What my mother instructed me to do appealed to me because it seemed stress free; no cramming it in all of a sudden at age five and getting frustrated because they don’t get it. It’s like learning on the sly. This is what you do: Every day, show you baby a bowl of the same thing, like small blocks. It must be small enough to hold in his little hand when the time comes but not so small that it’s a chock