### Reluctant math learner?

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There are simple things you can do to help your child gain a better number sense.  Having a good number sense includes things such as knowing the position of a number on the number line and also understanding the size of numbers relative to other numbers.  I am a proponent of introducing the number line to a child at a very early age.  Being able to locate numbers on the number line is CRITICAL to becoming a “math ninja.”  This skill will aid your child in being better able to understand math as the numbers won’t seem so foreign. For example, a child should know that 1/4 is between 0 and 1 (but closer to 0), that -3/2 is between -2 and -1 (halfway between them), or that 9.8 is between 9 and 10 (but closer to 10).  Another example is a child should know that 10 is twice as large as 5, or that 100 is 4 times as large as 25.

I have already introduced my 5 year old (he’s almost 6) who is in the 1st grade to the number line.  He even does a pretty good job recreating the number line with the integers placed on it.  I have taught him  that the farther to the right a number is on the number line, the bigger it is, so he knows for example that -1 is larger than -2.

My daughter is 9 years old and in the 4th grade, and she too can draw the number line.  To help her gain more number sense, I will have her locate different improper fractions on the number line.  So first she changes them to mixed numbers, and then shows their locations on the number line.

As a young child, however, Andre` does not have a good sense of the amount of dollars it takes to purchase different items.  To help him gain a better understanding of how much money it takes to purchase different items we took a trip to Walmart, as I needed to do some grocery shopping anyway.  He went armed with his notepad and a pencil. As we walked around the store, I would write down the names of different items, and I had him copy their prices.  I wanted him to see for example what \$1 would buy you versus something that was close to \$5.  He also wrote down the prices of more expensive items such as a laptop and television.  He was eager to show his Dad what he had written down.

Doing an exercise such as the Walmart trip activity is a simple way to make math more fun for your child.  Children love the idea of spending one on one time with you anyway, so this is a great way to spend some one on one time with your child while also helping him to gain a better sense of the sizes of numbers.

Helping your child become good at math involves laying a solid foundation.  There are certain crucial things that a child must learn.  Helping your child develop a great number sense has to be a part of that solid foundation.  You can incorporate simple, fun things to reinforce things they have been taught.  Make it a habit to do at least one thing each week to make learning math a little more fun for your child.  Make your child eagerly anticipate what next you’ll do with him to make math more fun!

### Reluctant math learner?

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