How many times have you explained a mathematics concept to your child, only to have them ask, “When am I ever going to need this?” Here’s how you can help them apply their new skills to real world situations.
We all love to learn, but usually we need to understand how the knowledge we’re about to learn will be useful to us. It’s no different for young children – once they realise how the knowledge they’re learning can be applied to real situations they see in the world, they’ll become more eager to listen, ask questions, and look out for more opportunities to show you how well they’ve grasped the key concepts.
Here are a handful of ways you can do this at home:
1. Implement school lessons at home
For example, if your child is learning about different temperatures at school, ask them to help you check the temperature at home and outside. You can start off by asking them if they think it’s hot, cold or warm, and to predict the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Then, you can consult the thermometer together to see how close your predictions were.
2. Create a simple budget
Sit down with your child and plan a household budget for the month. Subtract regular expenses such as rent, bills and car payments, and encourage your child to try and come up with as much money as possible to remain leftover after expenses.
3. Go shopping together
Plan a family shopping day and prepare a shopping list together. Ask your child to help you pick out items from the list and cross them off as you go. Ask them to stay within a set budget and to estimate the amount of the overall purchase while shopping. This activity helps them incorporate several mathematics skills at once, such as budgeting, subtraction, addition and estimation.
4. Cook together
Following a recipe is a great (and delicious!) way to practice fractions and measurements. Show your child different measuring tools in the kitchen and talk about the concept of fractions, such as explaining how two ½ cups make one whole cup. After all the ingredients are assembled – guess how many servings it will produce.
5. Host fun competitions
How many cookies are in the cookie jar? How many minutes will it take to wash up all the dishes? What is the average weight of this week’s shopping bags? Almost everything can be turned into a fun mathematics game – and by keeping up the fun, the learning is sure to come!
Mathseeds is the fun online maths program for ages 3-6. Children work through a sequence of interactive lessons and enjoy collecting exciting rewards, watching colourful animations and enjoying great songs throughout the program.
Visit www.readingeggs.com for your free 14-day trial of Mathseeds and Reading Eggs and let your child experience the fun way of learning early mathematics.