How Can I Help My Child At Home?
Learning does not end in the classroom. Students who have supportive families who practice skills at home do better in school. These students also feel that school is important.
Ways to help your child with pre-kindergarten math
- Read your teacher’s newsletter, so you are aware of what they are doing in the classroom.
- Have your child play math games on technology items such as iPad, phones, computers and other video games.
- Practice math with everyday objects.
- Practice counting aloud with your child, moving objects as she counts.
- Ask your child to write numbers in sand, make numbers with play dough, or draw pictures to represent a number (such as draw two triangles).
- Ask your child to measure items in the house with unconventional measuring items (How many forks long is the couch? How many blocks tall is our dog?).
- Play dominoes and card games (Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid, War, etc.).
- Play board games (Hi Ho Cherrio, Candyland, Oreo Match, Snail’s Pace Race, etc.)
- Make collections of items that are the same in some way (gather leaves, then sort them by color or shape; collect blocks and sort by shape, color, size).
- Use egg cartons or muffin tins to sort items.
- Have writing supplies on hand to draw representations of numbers (draw three flowers).
- Build puzzles together.
- Ask your child to tell you which items are taller or shorter; bigger or smaller; longer or shorter; more than, less than, or equal to.
- Roll two dice and ask your child to count the dots, tell you which is larger or smaller, and try to add them together.
- Sort socks.
- Build with many kinds of items (blocks, cardboard boxes of various sizes, rocks, nuts, etc.). Discuss size, shape and balance.
- Read books about number stories.
- Sing number songs (Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed; There Were Ten in the Bed; One Little, Two Little, Three Little…).
- Tell stories and fairytales that include sorting, size and sequencing (Goldilocks, Jack in the Beanstalk, Three Little Pigs, Caps for Sale).
- Have a family calendar and use it with your child.
- Let your child look at the sale flyer when you grocery shop. Point out numbers. Let her look for items to match. Compare package sizes and ask her to tell you which are bigger and smaller, longer or shorter, etc.
- Cook together. Read the recipe. Let your child measure ingredients. Talk about which is more and less.
- Use measuring cups and spoons in the bath tub. Let your child pour water from one sized container to another and see how full it gets. Use plastic stacking bowls, so he can figure out how to sequence by size.
- Use magnifying glasses and binoculars outside (near and far).
- Ask your child’s teacher for copies of games and songs from school to use at home.
Overall strategies for school success
- Meet your child’s teacher as soon as the new school year starts.
- Ask the teacher about the process for regular communication between home and school.
- Read what comes home from school and keep in touch with your child’s teacher, especially when you have concerns.
- Attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Establish a consistent routine to make sure your child gets homework done. Show an interest in your child’s work.
- Always talk about school and the teacher in a positive way, even if you have concerns. It is important for children to see home and school as united.
- Establish regular routines for morning, after school, homework and bedtime.
- Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, so he can focus at school.
- Talk to your child daily about school and how she feels it is going. This shows the value of education.
- Monitor and limit your child’s use of technology (TV, computer, internet, video-games, phone and social media).
- Encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
- Celebrate your child’s school success at home.