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Published: Sunday, 11/28/2010

Ways to help your children with math

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:

Be positive:

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

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