Q:

Are there any everyday ways to help my children become better math students? -- Wanting Mathematicians!

A:

Believe it or not, the best way to help your children become better mathematicians is by having them do more math. For example, if their teachers assign only the odd problems in a textbook for homework, they should also do the even ones. And if a math assignment is a brief one, they or you can go online and look for similar work for them to do. You'll find an abundance of worksheets by both grade level and specific skills.

Also, there are many books that you can purchase that will give your children additional practice in the skills that they are working on in school. Just 15 minutes of extra math work several times a week will soon pay dividends. And your children will begin to feel greater confidence in their ability to do math.

Now, if your children's skills in math are a bit subpar, you need to do some detective work to discover what those specific areas are. Their teachers should be able to identify these areas for you through looking at classroom and standardized tests and recent schoolwork. Children are not going to become skilled mathematicians unless they have mastered earlier skills that they should have learned.

A steady diet of doing extra math is not likely to encourage students to really enjoy mathematics -- so intersperse fun activities in math. On our Dear Teacher website (DearTeacher.com), you will find lots of interesting things for them to do in Learning Activities: Math. In addition, children can learn how to do lightning-quick calculation and amazing number tricks in the book "Secrets of Mental Math" by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer.