Did you know that almost 4 in 10 American adults say that they hated math in school? Or that recent studies show that as a general trend, 15-year-olds in the US have less skill in math than their counterparts in Europe and Asia? Also, trends show that most kids start out fairly strong in math is elementary school, but that their interest and skill lessen as they get into high school. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that America is facing a math epidemic; students just don’t seem to care.
While you can’t solve the whole nation’s problem, why not target the problem within your own family? Making sure your kids have strong math skills will help them get ahead when it comes to their professional careers and life in general. And it’s easier than you think – games can be an effective and easy way to motivate your children. It’s also something you can do together as a family!
At this point, you may be wondering what sort of games to be playing. Luckily, that’s easy – most experts are careful to remind us that mathematical ideas that seem simple to adults are quite fascinating to young children. For instance, kids are often pretty surprised to find that a cup of water in a tall, skinny glass is the same amount as a cup of water in a short, stout glass, even though they look different. Basically, this means that any activity that allows children to get a sense of numbers (how they look, how big they are, and where they apply to the real world) are great.
For older children, more specialized games may be helpful. Computer games that are centered around mathematics- especially those that can incorporate what your kid is learning in school- are wonderful. Check out Brainetics, another great game for older children, and one that you can play, too!
April is National Mathematics Awareness month, meaning it’s the ideal time for you and your kids to start sharpening up your math skills… so get going!