5 Ways You Can Create a Math-Friendly Environment in the Home

Home life and parental support both play a major role in a student’s academic success from kindergarten onward. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 82 and 89 percent of all public elementary schools provide information for parents to improve the learning environment of the home. Beyond taking advantage of these resources, parents can contribute to their child’s math skills with these four tips.

Identify Learning Barriers Early

In most cases, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders will be discovered in the classroom, but it’s best to spot them early if possible. If you have a concern, have your child see a psychologist who specializes in learning disorders to make sure he is up to speed with his age group and equipped for success at school. Conduct math-based educational activities at home as well so you can gain a better understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Talk About Testing

The U.S. Department of Education recommends introducing your child to testing at home before they encounter it at school. Be encouraging— children who feel confident about their math skills are more likely to do well on tests compared with those who are anxious about failing. Make sure your child has a quiet place to study throughout the week and enforce a healthy sleep schedule the night before the test. To get her off to a good start, make a nutritious breakfast before test day.

Lead By Example

The best way to instill values in math and all areas of education is to exhibit them yourself, according to experts at the University of Illinois. Show your child that education is an important part of everyday life instead of just a heavily structured institution. You can express these values by showing an interest in reading, researching and discussing issues within education, paying attention to current events within the school and being an active participant in the classroom. You can even enroll in continuing education classes yourself or seek out other learning opportunities like conferences and public appearances from established intellectuals.

Monitor Television and Internet Use

A study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids between 8 and 18 spend nearly 4 hours per day watching television and two hours leisurely using the computer. Although it’s important for kids to have fun with their free time, more than a couple of hours per day can interfere with school success and they can forget some of the math skills they learn without practice. Download the app ScreenTime to limit the time your child spends watching television, using the Internet, playing video games and participating in other virtual leisure activities.

Meet the Teacher

According to experts at Colorin Colorado, meeting your child’s teacher is one of the most important ways you can improve your child’s performance and accessibility in the classroom. Ask what you can do to help your son or daughter be a better student. Encourage your child to be open and engage with her teacher as well. For example, she can send FTD.com get well gifts to the teacher when she misses a day of school due to illness. Psychologists Jan Hughes and Oi-man Kwok claim there is a well-established link between the quality of children’s relationships with their teachers and their future academic success.