Here are some suggestions from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Inc. (www.nctm.org) on ways parents can help children succeed in and enjoy math:
If you have a negative attitude about mathematics, chances are your child will too.
Help your child have a "can-do" attitude by praising your child's efforts as well as her accomplishments.
Link mathematics with daily life:
Help your child realize that mathematics is a significant part of everyday life, such as deciding whether he has enough money to purchase a list of items at the store.
Make mathematics fun:
Play board games, solve puzzles, and ponder brain teasers with your child. Point out the mathematics involved, and have your child discuss the strategies he used.
Learn about mathematics-related careers:
Research different careers with your child, and find out what she should be doing now to prepare for these options.
Have high expectations:
In North America the belief that only some students are capable of learning mathematics has prevailed.
You would not expect your child not to read; similarly, you should not expect your child not to do mathematics. Your attitude and expectations are crucial to influencing his or her future opportunities.
Support homework, don't do it:
Relax and remember whose homework it is. If you take over doing homework for your child, you encourage him to easily give up or seek help when working on a challenging problem.
Think of yourself as more of a guide rather than a teacher.
-- Kirk Baird