By Jodie Lynn
My two boys, ages seven and eight, cannot seem to grasp the math skills for their grades. What are some things I can do with them this summer to try to catch my kids up on math, but also try to make it fun?
ANSWER FROM READER:
There are all kinds of things in today's toy and gaming market to help your two sons learn or refresh their math skills. Check to see if your cell phone service provider offers free phone apps, which many do, or your can even find free games and apps right off the computer. As long as they are having fun, they will enjoy the process and may not even know it is a type of summer school on math. - Mike Smith in Chicago, IL
While there is plenty of readily available material to help kids either learn new math skills or refresh what they may have not quite understood the first time around, be sure that whatever you choose is something that will be applicable in their upcoming school year. In fact, maybe the first place you might consider starting is asking last year's teacher or their teacher for the new school year for their own suggestions. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to take their word as law, but it will certainly give you other options that you otherwise may not have considered. Gather as many ideas and suggestions as you like, then review them carefully for each child and his own learning style. You might also check out some of the math learning centers. Make an appointment to sit in on a couple of sessions before enrolling the kids. Also, ask around and interview a few private math tutors. Be sure to check to see if they have worked with children the ages of your sons and call their references. Don't forget that there are plenty of board games that are educational in this area and lots of fun too. Last but not least, practice addition and subtraction skills with them whenever you can. It can be as simple as walks around the block and counting houses, birds, larger animals; strolls in the park and picking up rocks or collecting leaves; items in the grocery store or what you are putting in your shopping cart or just riding in the car and seeing things outside the window. Make old car games and activities new again by keeping it simple, short and fun.
C'Moms Editor Note: I'm partial to Khan Academy's math section which has a game-feel to it. When you need back up on a particular set of problems, there are varied tutorials on Youtube and some of those might click.
CAN YOU HELP?
We are trying to teach our children ages, three, four, and five, simple manners such as saying please, thank you and you're welcome, but have noticed that there seems to be many of their friends who either don't know about them, don't care or maybe just don't use them in everyday life. Should we correct or try to encourage their friends to do so when they are playing over at our house?
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