If you have a young child who is trying to learn math – here is a good article that will give you some pointers to help make learning math much easier for your child.

#### Three Easy Ways To Help With Elementary Math

Help with Elementary Math Tip #1- One of the easiest ways for a child to learn math concepts is to use manipulatives. Manipulatives are items that your child can move around, group, take away from, add to, etc. These can be anything you have in your house (beans, skittles, grapes, etc.).Manipulatives help children who are struggling in math because they help to bring the problem to life. Your child will now be able to “act out” the story problem, which helps them better understand what they are supposed to do in order to work out the problem or equation.

When children use manipulatives they show the word problem using the manipulatives. For instance, if a child was dividing 72 by 9, he or she would count out 72 beans and then group them into groups of 9. He or she would then count how many groups they have to find their answer. To extend this activity, students can label what they are doing so they can connect the manipulatives with drawings or numbers.

Help with Elementary Math Tip #2- If you don’t have manipulatives at home or if they are completing their work in the car, before baseball practice, or anywhere that manipulatives are not available your child can draw pictures. It might seem too simple to be true, but I have had many experiences where a child was stuck on a problem until they drew a picture and visually saw the problem instead of simply reading it. Drawing pictures of the word problem or equation helps a child see exactly what they are going to do in the problem. They are also able to manipulate the items they are working with, which makes it more fun and meaningful to them.

Drawings work a lot like manipulatives, but students are now strictly using paper and pencil and drawings instead of physically manipulating items. To make this activity more meaningful, your child should label their drawing with numbers, skip counting, or however they are counting the objects in their picture. I always tell my students that anyone should be able to fully understand what they are doing just by looking at their work.

Help with Elementary Math Tip #3- When your child is stuck on a problem try making the numbers smaller. In many cases, children are overwhelmed with big numbers. They see large numbers and automatically think the problem is going to be difficult. Making the numbers smaller doesn’t change the concept, it just makes it easier for them to work through the problem and it gives them confidence that they can complete the problem. Once they can successfully answer the problem with smaller numbers have them try using the bigger numbers. Just remind them to do the same thing with the bigger numbers that they did with the smaller numbers.

Math is a difficult subject for many children. A lot of times they come home and you just don’t know how to help them. Some of the best ways you can help your child succeed in math is to let them use manipulatives, have them draw pictures, and to change the numbers in the problem. They can use one or all of these strategies on the same problem. Utilizing these three easy tips with your child will help with elementary math skills and get them started on the path towards excellence in math.

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So there you have it! If you use these tips I believe that you’ll find teaching math to your young student is (as Sherlock Holmes would say) elementary my dear Watson!

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