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How do you teach math to your kid?

Do you have any interesting techniques on how to make the process easy and engaging? I would appreciate any advice, thanks!

Answers

Searching online for foldables, has in my experience, been effective for helping students to learn math. Also, whenever possible use real life siutations and the child's interests when developing math work. I also find it to be beneficial to use tactile strategies for those who do better with learning through physical activity.

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User in Osseo, MN
Jan. 6, 2017

I asked my son to explain the assignment to me in the way that his teacher did to him and if he was given an example problem in class. Then, I asked him to explain the example problem to me, step-by-step. It helped me figure out where the stumbling blocks were for him. Writing the problem on a clean sheet of paper and walking him through it was helpful. One problem; one focal point. Use pencil as scribbling out ink added to his frustration. Visual aids (blocks, coins, etc.) are helpful depending on the assignment. Once he understood the sample problem, then we moved on to the assignment. A friendly smile, patient attitude, and speaking at a pace that was easy to comprehend made a difference.

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I enjoy doing hands on activites and giving them timed exercises. Getting students to be faster as they go they will be more confident. Usually i give them a small quiz after talking with parents on what they think their children need help with. Then i make work sheets. Once a week i try to give them a small 5 minute "quick test" on something that they have gotten really good at on their own. This helps them gain confidence 

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Everyday activities are a great way to increase math skills. Depending upon the age and ability, everything from counting and sorting for little ones, to rounding up shopping items on a list to the nearest dollar and fractions with cooking are examples.

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During my entire childhood, my mother/father would race me is completing a math problem. This cognitively challenged me to really focus on the math equation on my paper and complete it. Even if I got the answer wrong, because I had taken detailed notice of HOW I completed that math problem, I knew where my error was in the process of figuring out the answer.

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Lauren in Dallas, TX
Aug. 1, 2017

I would use any small toys they enjoy playing with and let them do all the counting with each object. I also find dry-erase boards to work very well, especially since things are much more visual and you can draw out an entire scenario and have them draw their own things as well. 

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Start with giving them short quizzes to test their knowledge. I always put equations in a little story to have my student try to figure it out. Not all students figure things out in written form. Some students are auditory learners.

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Diane Hoelter
Aug. 1, 2017

Hi Gloria,

My favorite way to teach math is to use everyday things like cooking or even laundry ( pairing, matching etc).  I just googled using "using cooking to teach math" and found some great ideas.  

A link Eat Your Math Homework | Kitchen Explorers
A link Teaching Math and Reading through Cooking (Includes Printables)
A link Teaching Measurement by Baking Cookies in Class: Activities & Ideas
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try to make it more hands on and relate it to what is going on in his or her life.

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User in Pembroke, MA
Aug. 1, 2017

It may not be easy, but it can be engaging! How old is your student?

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Depends how he/she feels about it. For most part, you have to break down to simplest way (one-by-one). For dyslexia (discalculia), it is better to do them "old-fashion" way where student actually using his/her hands to write & see and visualize what is going on the problem. I actually tutored student with dyslexia when student was taking Geometry (sophomore who failed Algebra 1) and was able to pass both math courses that year. After that year, he was able to take Algebra 2 and he was 1st in his class for while (2~3 months) despite of having dyslexia. For ADHD (Inattentative), it is good idea to post symbols, equations, signs, formulas, multiplication tables, and pictures around student's room to create an environment that is engaging. Another tip will be to preview (briefly) what he/she will study (if student can't understand what teacher is saying). This way, student can get ahead of the game by knowing what he/she about to learn. At the end of the day, math is all about practice with a lot of repetitions. Most common this from all this is that you (parent) must engage and try to work with student rather than telling them what to do.

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User in Denton, TX
Aug. 1, 2017

Most children of any ages respond well to interactive learning. If you are studying fractions, try using fun objects in your home to represent the fraction. Subtraction and addition can be fun using your kids favorite candy. If you see your kid getting frustrated with a math problem, get up, walk around, do something silly! Make learning a fun experience instead of a disheartening one! Good Luck!

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-Find games and programs online. -Play games in real life with your child, if you have time. They are very easy and simple to come up with- cards, counting chips, or basically anything. You can even set up a reward system if you want. -Children who play chess have been proven to have good grades. Perhaps something a bit more competitive would be preferred. -Find every day situations to teach your child math- anything from gardening to shopping, just be creative.

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It depends on the grade level. For example, one of my students is home schooled, elementary level. I taught him dividing by having him draw dots and grouping them. Think visual: shapes such as stars, triangles, even throw in different colored pens. For middle school and beyond, I always emphasize real world applications and connecting it with previous topics. Today, I taught my middle school level student about integration by relating it to the slope of linear equations (Which he was learning in school) and having him calculate heat transfer. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions! -Adil Salleh

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There are many techniques being used today. It is difficult to describe what strategies to use here but I do recommend YouTube for parents who have a difficult with helping their children with math.

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Use different techniques that can attract the child from boring to interesting. You can engage the math activities so that the children will think logically instead of recite the math table. Use simple skills and make them think big,

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It all depends. For ADHD (inattentative) student, it will be good idea to post formulas, equations, multiplication tables, signs, symbols, and some poster images all over the room and walls. This creates "not so boring" or "something to see" or "catches attention" or "engaging" atmosphere. It can be messy and abnormal to many but it is normal for that student. For dyslexic student, it is better to do it old-fashion way. Student with dyslexia has memory issues and tends to forget a lot. To battle this, it will be good idea that student to write every homework problem down and solve by hand (paper & pencil) (because they have difficulties of analyzing). This way, student can visualize what is happening in the problem. Another advice for dyslexic student is to have the textbook at all times. This gives more opportunity to go back and review what he/she learned that day. Student can ask his/her teacher to give/borrow the textbook and take it home and pretty sure that most teachers will allow it. At the end of the day, it is all practice, practice, practice. Do them together (engage)if you can, rather than tell him/her what to do.

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I think creating activities or word problems that mix a student's interests and the math concepts is a fun way to keep them engaged and also improve their understanding. Math games are fun and can help gauge a student's progress as well. Also, some equations can be put to the tune of childhood songs to make them easier to remember.

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Use real life situations to help your student understand the math problem better.

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Math is probably one of the hardest subjects to make fun, easy, and/or engaging (and all three of these go together). The way I see it, math is very much like a game: there are rules and a "play area" of "moves" that you can make. For any game, not knowing the rules makes a game very tough, frustrating, and boring at the same time. With math, there are quite a few more rules than the average game, but it is still doable to know most/enough of the rules. Knowing the rules is necessary to making the process easier and more engage-able but it still could use something else to make it more engaging. In my opinion, going deeper on the subject could help, such as by asking questions, but that can definitely be tricky and easily go into college-level math.

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Try to implement real life situations and show them that it is not some abstract thing but rather all around us in the world.

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To start, figure out what sort of activities the child enjoys. For example, I tutor a girl in math, and she enjoys being active, especially jumping rope. So, to make the multiplication engaging, we would play a sort of jump rope/musical chairs type game. I would play music, and she would count how many times she jumps rope, and I would stop the music at a random time. We would do that twice, and after the second time, she would have to do the mental math to multiply the two numbers. After five rounds of that, we would have a competition to see who could jump rope the longest. Games like these keep the child engaged, get the blood pumping, and help them learn. Studies show that learning while moving, or after moving, helps you retain the information more easily. So it's helpful to figure out what already engages the student, and then find a way to work that into the math lesson. Hope this helps!

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Karen in Fishers, IN
May 23, 2018

It depends a lot on your child's unique learning style. Once you tap into that, the motivation will come. Manipulative, hands on activities may help. Note booking, etc.

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Use a game computer software that is relevant to your childs' age and learning ability. Angela Mann

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To teach math, you need to know the material like the back of your hand. Normally when I tutor, I come up with analogies or little pictures to draw because I know the information so well. Any connection you can make for the student is key to their understanding and enjoyment. The stranger the analogy, the more it will stick in their brain.

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Sandra in Briggs, TX
Oct. 24, 2017

Make it relevant! When teaching fractions, let them mix up a batch of cookies or recipe that uses fractions. Then teach them to double the recipe. let them help calculate prices at the grocery store (how much for 4 cans of green beans at 75 cents each). Whatever they are already interested in, use that passion as a starting point for making math meaningful. Find a curriculum that explains WHY the math works the way it does, so that the child won't simply be memorizing steps that make no sense, but understands the logic behind the solution to the math problem. VideoText Interactive is a good program for older children. Use drilling and rewards (like M&M's) for a job well-done. Order homeschool curriculm catalogs and check out reviews of the different products they offer. Math is one of the HARD sciences; it's based on logic and is objective, not subjective. The answer to 2+2 is ALWAYS 4. It is one example of an absolute in this world, and children should be taught that early, because soon enough they will be told by an "expert" teacher or professor that "there are no absolutes".

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Depending on the age of the child and the type of math That I'm tutoring. would determine the method I use for them to learn how to solve the problem. I don't know common core not do I believe that is the best way for a child to learn and excel at math.

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There are many online game sites with terrific games. I also tend to use poker chips (for base 10, multiplication, etc.) and playing cards (war with adding or multiplying). Also, kids really like to be the teacher, so you can have them find your mistake or teach you. Depending on age, you can use stories with their favorite characters, animals, or foods. For fractions, use things they already know like candy (1/2 of 1/2 a candy bar). I like to use white boards with kids because they don't have to feel bad about mistakes (simply erase, no pencil marks) and they can write big.

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First things first is to include real life objects. This allows children to understand the point of math. When teaching 5th graders that moving place value is dividing or multiplying by 10, you can still use manipulative so they can see the change. When teaching multiplication, use everyday objects. The other day we had mini-corn-dogs and I put two corn-dogs on each plate, and then counted by two to determine how many corn-dogs were used.

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Make it a rewarding game

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Frances in Bronx, NY
July 13, 2018

Khan-academy helped me through college, I'm sure it would help anyone through grade school or even high school.

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