Children with learning differences often find it difficult to keep up with math in the classroom. However, there are other ways to assist children in developing the math skills they need for life. Parents can help their children to build math skills in a hands on way by incorporating math education into the following everyday experiences.
Learning Math Through Cooking and Baking
Recipes are full of opportunities to practice math skills. When children are helping out in the kitchen, parents can encourage them to use fractions to measure out quantities. For example, asking a child to measure out a cup of flour (gluten-free!) using the quarter-cup measuring cup tests the child’s understanding of fractions. Similarly, children can practice multiplication by scaling recipe quantities to feed the required number of people. Parents should always encourage kids to work out how much of a particular ingredient is needed by themselves, but offer help if the child becomes confused.
Travel Math Games
Road trips are a great opportunity to practice math skills. Children can practice counting objects, such as red cars or fire hydrants. Parents can also encourage children to notice the shapes of roadside objects, such as octagonal stop signs or circular wheels, as geometry is an important part of mathematics. They can also challenge kids to estimate how far they have traveled to help them develop a sense of measurements such as “one mile” or “10 miles.” Older children might be able to calculate the approximate speed of the journey by dividing the distance traveled by the time spent traveling.
Using Money to Build Math Skills
It’s important for children to understand the value of money and how to spend it in stores. Parents can help children to develop this understanding, while helping them to practice their addition and subtraction skills, by asking them to sum up the value of a pile of coins and small bills. To put the numbers in context, provide a list of prices of the child’s favorite fruits and vegetables, so that the child can work out how much produce can be purchased with the money that is available.
Help for Learning Differences
Kids with learning differences sometimes take longer to understand concepts. By using everyday experiences to build math skills, parents are allowing their children to practice difficult concepts in a relaxed environment. When teaching math through everyday experiences, it’s important for parents to give their kids as much time as they need to fully understand new concepts.
If your child struggles with learning or has been diagnosed with a Learning Disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.
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