So you are a writer, not a
mathematician and now you are faced with the challenge of teaching your
daughter math skills that will last a lifetime. Where do you
begin? You begin with a positive attitude about math and
understanding and belief that everyone can learn and be good at
math. Having a positive outlook on math will make the difference
between passing grades and smashing grades in the years to
Now that you are in the right mind set, what next? Building on the
basics should be the focus during the early years. Here are a few
things to focus on at home:
Talk math at home. Use numbers, words & symbols to relate
daily situations. Use pictures to communicate ideas
about math. Some basic vocabulary to use include: add, subtract,
plus, minus, odd and even, multiply, divide, percent, and anything that
relates numbers to the world.
Reasoning is being able to think logically. Encourage your
daughter to seek out the relationships between things that might help her
solve problems. Explain
your reasoning on how you solved a problem.
Notice similarities and differences between things around the house.
Once she starts reasoning about things that are unrelated to math, listen
and always let her finish telling you why she thinks the way she
Becoming a problem solver is a road to self discovery in itself.
Once your child knows that she can solve basic problems, she becomes more
confident in trying to solve more complicated ones. Teaching her to
solve problems at an early age is tremendously powerful to a growing
self-esteem. Encourage your daughter to figure out problems on her
own. Have her explain how she came up with the answer and then
discuss other ways of solving the problem. Ask questions like,
"Do you know of another way you could have figured that
School and Math
As your child grows older
and goes to school, keep up the math talk at home. Take
interest in her school work and help her with it at every
level. If you weren't good at math before, now is the time to
learn it with your daughter. This is not always an option, so
have a back up when you can't help. Encourage your daughter to
ask questions as soon as she doesn't understand a concept .
That means asking questions is class or after class if necessary.
Get her into the habit of talking to the teachers about her work
before she has problems. This way she will feel confident when
she does need assistance. Ask your daughter who the kids are who ask
the most questions in class. Chances are they are the ones
with the best grades.