By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Director of Miracle Math Coaching
As we approach the end of the year, my kids are excited for two reasons. First, there’s the cheer of the holidays in general (presents!). And, secondly, school’s out for Winter Break. For parents who want their kids to stay sharp while celebrating the season, I’m re-purposing an earlier blog post. Here’s my piece about how to keep your children’s Math skills up-to-par during Spring Break. The ideas still work now, for the winter break. Enjoy!
The Holiday Break is here. That means two looooooonnnnnnng weeks of keeping your children busy. I hope those of you who work have scored big-time in the “I found daycare” lottery. And some of you might have already packed your bags for a family vacation.
But some of you are home with kids who will go glassy-eyed in front of video games or text until their thumbs fall off if you let them. There’s hope. As a parent, you can easily rescue your sons and daughters from the horror of Holiday Break brainlessness.
And parents who help their students with Math totally rock. But then, again, I’m a Math Geek. Because of that, I know lots of fun and painless ways to sharpen those skills.
Just because it’s a Holiday Break doesn’t mean you have to give them a break from learning. Here’s how to use Math to keep your child’s brain from deflating like a two-day old helium balloon.
1) Entrepreneurship – Showing your child how to start a business is SIMPLE and uses lots of basic Math. Brainstorm what they should sell: lemonade, cookies, car washes, flowers picked from your garden or crafts they make like drawings and finger-paintings. Help them with pricing and figuring out their costs and revenues.
2) Cooking – Measuring ingredients is a great way to teach Math skills. They’ll also be able to practice reading and following directions. And cooking ties nicely into entrepreneurship because they can sell what they make!
And here’s a fun activity that’ll help them with fractions by making a pizza puzzle: http://www.havingfunathome.com/2011/05/homemade-pizza-puzzle.html
3) Grocery Shopping – It’s a no-brainer to have your child keep a running total of the groceries as you toss items into the cart. You can also show them fractions by figuring how which size of a product is cheaper, ie a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter for $3 or a 20-ounce jar of peanut butter for $6.
4) Playing Teacher – One of the cool tricks of learning anything is teaching it to someone else. Set up a classroom and pretend you are the student. Have your child teach you how to do fractions or word problems.
5) Playing Games – Cards, dominoes, bingo and dice are just of few of the games that require number crunching. And, of course, there’s the old standby, Monopoly. For younger kids, there’s even a Monopoly, Jr.
And if you’re looking for additional academic support for your student, please call me at 707-398-3474, ext. 2700. Or sign up for a free assessment. Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.