Mathematics Counts & Science Matters!
Building Math Confidence
You can build your child's math confidence by helping him or her understand that:
Problems can be solved in different ways.
Although there may be only one answer, there may be many ways to get to that answer. Learning math is more than finding the correct answer; it's also a process of solving problems and applying what you've learned to new problems.
Taking risks is important.
Help your child see the value in trying to solve a problem, even if it is difficult. Give your child time to explore different problem solving approaches. As your child works, encourage him to talk about what he is thinking. This will help him to become an independent thinker and problem solver.
Being able to do math in your head is important.
This valuable skill comes in handy to make quick calculations of costs in stores, resaurants, or gas stations. Using mental math builds math skills.
It's sometimes okay to use a calculator.
Knowing how to use a calculator correctly is important. But your child should know the math behind the answer.
Wrong answers sometimes can be useful.
Sometimes you can use a wrong answer to help your child figure out why she made a mistake. Ask her to explain how she solved a math problem. Her explanation might help you discover whether or not she needs help with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, or other concepts.
From Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, Washington, DC, 2005.