Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Best Home Tools: Math and Beyond

The discussion around math tools is a hot topic for parents these days. There are so many programs out there and the quality of the math program in schools can vary widely. So, are there some tools that are fail proof, relatively easy to administer and challenging to your kids? Our answer is yes. We hope you will agree. Whether your child needs extra support because he is not meeting his grade level, exceeding his grade level, or just interested in math, these three tools are all you really need. 1). IXL.COM Although the program gives you a few free problems daily, you have to pay for this one. And believe me, it's worth it. Based on your state standards, the program offers fun, challenging, colorful exercises for each grade level. You, the parent, get a weekly update on how your child is progressing. If your child finished one grade level, you can move on to the next. An excellent program to supplement your school's program (and actually, a lot of schools are now using IXL in the classroom-hurray!) and keep your child engaged in the summer. For an additional cost, you can add their language arts, science and social studies programs too. My kids love those. 2) As you move into more challenging math work, and find you need a little lesson yourself to help guide your child, turn to KHANACADEMY.ORG. It's awesome! That's really all that needs to be said. It's free and offers AMAZING video to demonstrate everything from simple addition to calculating slope. 3) And finally, of all the workbooks out there, I love the SPECTRUM series. We use them for math, reading, writing, science and geography. But the list goes on and on. Again, this program is based on standards, so you know if your child has completed a certain grade level, he is ready to move on to the next one. At less than $10/book on Amazon, you really can't go wrong. My kids typically do a few lessons in the mooring after breakfast, when their minds are fresh and they are looking for something to do before school. I put the pile of books on our kitchen table and they choose what they like. Child-centered learning at home can do wonders to support your child at her specific academic level.

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