Three parenting experts and faculty members at UWM's School of Education (The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee School of Education), DeAnn Huinker, Tania Mertzman Habeck, and Jennifer Brownson, provided some valuable tips for getting your kids ready for school. Mathematics, as well as reading and literacy, are the two main subjects of discussion. Let's talk about the first of the two.
When their children enter school, parents should not worry that their little ones will have to start over on math. In this domain, many schools take a scaffolding approach according to grade level, but the good teachers insert lessons on whatever their students might need. However, it's crucial that parents have a positive attitude toward mathematics, avoiding to use phrases such as "I was never good at that," in particular.
During the holidays, and at home, it's important to take advantage of relaxed everyday activities to play, explain, demonstrate, teach and learn about math, without forgetting that trial and error is part of every learning process. Math is a matter that everybody has to work on, and therefore takes effort. A child may not be able to solve a math problem "YET" but they will very probably figure it out eventually, with more explanation, time and perseverance.
As DeAnn Huinker, a professor of mathematics education and director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education Research says, “You aren’t just magically a math person. It’s something you have to work on.” So go ahead, work and have fun with your incredible kids!
Picture: Students might be behind a bit in math and reading after a year of virtual schooling, but experts say they should catch up pretty quickly (UWM Photo, Elora Hennessey)