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Helping Elementary School Aged Kids With Math

By Jodie Lynn


My two kids, one girl age seven and one boy age nine, seem to have most of their trouble with math. I'm not sure if they just don't understand the concept of numbers or what the real problem actually is. What games or programs are best in trying to catch them up this school year before they fall behind again?


There are literally hundreds of games that might inspire your kids to learn math, especially math apps on either your phone or one of their own. Just go online and search for “math apps for phones.” All three of our children had a challenge with math and we have downloaded several of them but before you do, try to find out where they get stuck. It might be different for each child. Doing a little research first will greatly improve your decision on which app is right for which child. - Katie Hernandez in El Paso, TX


Math is one of the most difficult things for children to wrap their minds around, especially when around the age of your kids. Parents write to me frequently about challenges that their children face at school while trying to understand it. I prefer board games. They are fun, educational and there's plenty to help with math. For example, Pizza Fraction Fun Game, Head Full of Numbers, and Money Bags: A Coin Value Game, all by Learning Resources, are but a few of the ones that kids seem to enjoy. Sequence Numbers, by Jax, is another that kids beg to play. These can all be purchased at Amazon or by ordering straight from their websites. You can throw in problem-solving scenarios with the kids everyday with just about anything inside or outside the house. For instance, ask your kids to count out the ingredients needed to make a specific dish. Maybe the recipe is calling for six potatoes, two onions, nine small sweet pickles, and so on. Double the amount needed and then read the actual number that it calls for and you will have them adding and subtracting. Maybe they would enjoy games in the car. Ask how many red cars they see in the next five minutes, and so on. A couple of things parents seem to postpone or simply forget about is to have their children's hearing tested as well as their eyesight; it can affect learning just as much. An examination by professionals in these fields will offer a detailed conclusion. Another common malady is dyslexia, which affects reading and math by transposing letters and numbers. Even into adulthood, people can go for years without knowing that they have this as it is often simply missed in the school and home setting due to busy lifestyles, traveling back and forth between divorced parents, several children in a family, or even pure coincidence. If you haven't already, get the kids tested. It can wreak havoc on the learning and thought processes.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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