In many households, reading a bedtime story is a tradition that parents and kids look forward to every evening. Reading together seems natural and is a fun way to bond and make memories for a lifetime. Many parents may wonder if there is a similar way to incorporate math into the family schedule...
Author and researcher Marlene Kliman thinks so. In her article, published by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Beyond Helping with Homework: Parents and Children Doing Mathematics at Home , Kliman describes several ideas to help parents incorporate math into everyday at-home activities--such as measuring ingredients together while cooking/baking.
Another easy way to incorporate math outside of the classroom is to ask your kids lots of questions at story time, in the supermarket, in the car, on the bus, in the kitchen, etc.
- "How many dinosaurs do you have in your toy chest?"
- "How many stuffed animals are on your shelf?"
- "How much would two loaves of bread cost?"
- "How old will you be in 9 years?"
- "How many more chocolate chips do we need?"
- "How many quarter cups of flour will we scoop if we need 3/4 of a cup for this recipe?"
- "How many red cars can you count in the next 30 minutes?"
Many teachers encourage thinking mathematically outside the classroom by sending home worksheets with fun ideas that engage parents and their children. Many others keep their own websites with lots of resources that help their students' families incorporate math into all kinds of activities. Ask your child's teacher for their recommendations. One of the links you may see mentioned is hosted by the U.S. Department of Education  and has a lots of fun games that are inexpensive and are bound to become favorites.
Of course, Peaksmart offers a few ways to help parents and kids with math at home. Choose from quizzes, practice, drills, or lessons - and feel free to mix it up. Lessons are particularly helpful as kids progress through the grades and parents need a quick refresher course. In fact, we've written the lessons with both parents and kids in mind, so reading them together is highly encouraged!
Finally, on top of incorporating math activities into everyday activities, it's important to keep a positive attitude about math and have high expectations of your kid's math achievements. Peaksmart is here to help. We'd love to hear your ideas about activities to help incorporate math into everyday life.