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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Form a Network to Help Your Child With Math

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Sometimes finding help is as easy as opening your mouth...literally. If your child needs help with math, talk with other parents to discover if their children struggle, too. If they do, you may be able to form a support group and exchange ideas and resources to find out what has and has not worked for others and what may or may not work for your situation. I know you've heard it before, "two heads working together is better than one." Suppose you had access to 3 or 5 or 10 brains? You may be surprised as to what you can discover.

What about other parents whose children already excel in math? Don't exclude them from the group as they can help you by telling you HOW their children excel. What habits do their children have that yours don't? What do they find helpful to keep their children on the top? Would their children sit and "talk" with your children about math and how to do better? Bottom line: Open up your mouth and form a network of people to help you help your child with math.

To purchase a book of strategies to help your child with math, go to

Monday, March 8, 2010

Join the PTA To Get Resources

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Sometimes helping your child is as simple as asking what's available. What better place to get resources than your local school's PTA?

While the PTA is often involved in fundraising efforts, it is also a resource house for parents. The PTA is partially for parents, after all. So if you have a need involving your child and school, it is logical that you go to your PTA for help. It may have resources that you never even thought of to help your child with math, and usually all you have to do is ASK for these resources! Why reinvent the wheel, when some of the legwork has already been done for you? Use what they have, and then if you need more resources, go on from there.

The beauty of working with the PTA as opposed to going it alone is that you are collaborating with a group of people. Some of the people may have gone through the exact same thing that you are and have tried different methods. They can tell you what helped for their students and what didn't, what they liked and what they didn't (although this may be different from you) and why. You want to know why this did or didn't work because the same reason that some person might not like the program may be the exact reason that it would be perfect for your situation. Get into the PTA and network with its members!

What if your local PTA doesn't have any resources to help your child with math? Tell them that you need resources for your child with math, and that you are sure your family isn't the only one struggling with this issue. Then ask if the organziation will hold a meeting or seminar on the issue. Usually they will, and to prepare for this meeting or seminar, the presenters will probably put together a package that the participants can take with them, i.e. resources.

To purchase a book of strategies that helps you to help your child with math, go to

Monday, March 1, 2010

Get Your Children Moving to Improve Skills

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Watching the Winter Olympics was fascinating! The sheer athleticism of the participants was truly breathtaking.

I began thinking about how their athleticism could translate into better performance for our own children, not that they have to be olympic athletes, of course. But we can help our children learn and retain math better through exercise.


I know that when I exercise my mind is sharper and I can focus more clearly on certain tasks. Those types of after effects of vigorous exercise can help our children perform better in and out of the classroom, too. Unfortunately, too few of us, our children included, experience the invigorating effects of working hard through exercise.

So, to help your child tap into the after effects of rigorous exercise, get them moving! Have your child to exercise for a minimum of 45 minutes each day, working to keep the heartrate up for at least 20 minutes. They do not have to overdo it here, but it should be difficult for them to hold a normal conversation during this time. Some activities that will yield this type of result include jumproping, jumping jacks, skating, biking, climbing stairs, aerobics, cheerleading, football, basketball, racing, soccer, even playing on the Wii! Find something that your children enjoy and make sure to incorporate it into their daily schedule either through an organized team or just a set amount of time at home. Get moving!

For more strategies to help your child with math, purchase a 38 page guidebook at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TV Discussions Lead to Math Interest

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Have regular conversations with your child about math and math related careers. Even doing simple things like watching TV can turn into a discussion about math. Discuss with her how TV programming is paid for in part by the commercials that are shown. That can easily lead into another discussion of how much air time her favorite program gets or how much specific products spend for advertising versus the price for their products and how many people they expect to buy the product as a result of the adverstising. You may discuss break even points and how many sales it would take for the product to make money after paying for the advertising. This could create a desire to learn more about the industry, and in doing so, to learn more about the math. Or, it could just be a discussion that leads to more such discussions which leads to more interest in math!

For more tips, visit

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Limit Video Game Playing to Increase Achievement

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To help with math comprehension and achievement, reduce or limit video game playing to 1 hour per day total. Just like television, video games distract our kids much of the day. And just like television, if we want to help them get on track with their math, we need to reduce or eliminate video game playing. The time that they were spending on playing video games can be used in more constructive ways such as playing, exercising, talking and bonding with family, reading, memorizing facts, etc.

For a book of strategies, visit

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Turn off TV to Increase Math Achievement

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Want to increase your child's math achievement? Here's a simple way: Turn OFF the TV or at least limit of reduce your child's television viewing to 1 hour per day.

There have been numerous studies that show that television watching halts the brain's cells in a way that resembles being in a vegetative state. So besides being an obvious time waster, too much televsion viewing also slows down our ability to think and process information correctly. Sure its relaxing, but at what cost? Many of our children today sit and watch endless hours of television and we allow it, perhaps not realizing the damage that we are doing to them.

By limiting their viewing to one hour per day, we can help reduce the brain's inability to comprehend and keep pertinent information. Instead of watching television, we can have our children study a few minutes more, have imaginative play, read, cook, talk to us or their siblings, write a short story, draw or even...EXERCISE! Bottom line is there are more meaningful things for our kids to do than watch television, and unlike television, these things actually stimulate their minds!

For more tips on how to help your child achieve in math, visit

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Get Back to Basics to Teach Basic Skills

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To teach or reinforce basics, get back to basics! In this day of ever increasing technology, it is still beneficial to give it all up for at least a few minutes and get back to basics.

I'm sure you have observed that in schools these days, as in other parts of the world, technology is king. Our kids are constantly bombarded with ever more technology to complete simple tasks that we somehow accomplished without technology. There are computer and hand held video games and systems and even television programs dedicated to teaching and reinforcing math, english, social studies and science facts. Not that I am against any of these, I'm NOT! But there is a time for everything. And if the use of these advanced technologies has not helped your child learn or improve basic skills, then it should not be more of the same.

If technology has yet to yield the results you crave, do something different! Consider going back to the basics. Turn off the television, computer, and video games. Sit your child down in a quiet area with (dare I say it?) paper and pencil, and maybe a textbook (what is that?) and have him say and write the particular basic fact that you want him to learn. Have him do this 10 times, alternating sitting and standing while speaking (and writing, if he is able). After 10 times on a particular fact, say the Pythagorean Theorem, then and only then should he do the same with another fact. Limit his practice of this type to 4 different facts per day.

Tell him that you (or your designee) will quiz him either orally or in writing on his knowledge when he is finished. Quiz him and reward him for his successes with verbal praise. If he doesn't do so well, praise him for the effort, and work on the same facts the next day. Even if he does well and you move on to another set of 4 facts the next day, quiz him on the previous days' facts. You and your child can come up with a reward, if you so choose, after he receives a satisfactory "grade" on a quiz after at least 6 days of such quizzing. Since he is working daily and receiving daily feedback, his confidence is improving even if he is still not performing as well as you would like. As his confidence continues to improve, so will his performance, and with more work, he will work to achieve his potential.

For a 38 page book of strategies, visit