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   Helping Your Child Learn Math - June 1999

Help Your Child Achieve in Math

    Visit your child's school. Meet with your child's teacher to see if your child is actively involved in math. Find out how you can help your child to better understand math problems.

    Set high standards for your child in math. Make sure your child is mathematically challenged and encourage his or her interest and pursuit of math. By the end of the 10th grade, your child should be expected to have studied algebra and geometry.

    Help children see that math is very much a part of everyday life. From statistics in sports to the sale price of clothing, from the calories in food to the amount of gas needed to travel from one city to another, math is important to us every day. Help your child make these connections to math.

    Point out that many jobs require math. From the scientist to the doctor, from the plant manager to the newspaper salesman, from the computer programmer to the hardware store owner, many jobs require a strong foundation in math. Help your child see that math leads to many exciting career opportunities.

    Stimulate your child's interest in technology. Encourage your child to use calculators and computers to further learning.

    Play games that help children develop decisionmaking and mental math skills. There are many games sold commercially, such as board games, that involve patterns and probability. Play games from your own family traditions such as counting games and games that keep score. Try schoolyard games such as jump rope, hopscotch, and jacks. Games require children to use strategies to make decisions, solve problems, and develop an understanding about numbers and how to use them (number sense) and computational skills.

    Positive attitudes about math will reinforce encouragement. Your feelings will have an impact on how your children think about math and themselves as mathematicians. Positive attitudes about math are important in encouraging your child to think mathematically.

Parent Pointer
Remember, healthy kids learn better. There are new opportunities to get free or low-cost health insurance coverage for children who are under age 19. Your state may have a new Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for families with low and moderate incomes, including working families. For more information, call toll-free: 1-877-KIDS-NOW.


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