The most important concept my boys learned about math was the fact families. Go here to get a template for making fact family cards – with lots of activity ideas. At some point, our kids have to graduate from the rote memorization of math facts to understanding what the numbers and facts represent. A cool book to foster this understanding is The Grapes of Math. (I love the title!) In it, the author asks riddles that make kids use what they know in new ways.
One of my absolute favorite resources is called Fun With Figures. This fascinating book will teach your child – and you – to do mental math with speed and great understanding. You’ll discover some really simple but highly effective techniques that will teach your child to do math in her head. Plus, it truly will help your child understand how math works. Our family loved this amazing book. Click to read about Fun With Figures!
Pictures – My mom taught third grade for years, and always used a book called “Grandma’s Math” to help her visual learners who were having trouble memorizing facts. I searched in vain for the book she used, but found another, Memorize in Minutes, that used the same principle: kids memorize a picture that has a story and rhyme to help with fact recall. You can also get your child to help you come up stories and pictures, which may prove be the extra boost your child needs. NOTE! A reader sent in the link to Grandma’s Magical Math! Highly recommended!
Math Software My kids would do anything that was a video game, and math software usually has a definite gaming feel. I recommend that you let your child decide which program looks the best. By the way, I saw several used programs on Amazon that sold for a penny!
Practice – However your child learns, practice makes perfect. Create your own practice worksheets here. You can choose what kind of problems and how difficult they are. This is a wonderful resource that you can use over and over again.
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