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After School Math Programs And Beyond

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By Rachel Wells

Not every child gets excited to hear the word ‘math’, or will believe you if you tell them that math is fun. The truth is, math can actually be a lot of fun, but it often comes down to how it’s presented. One of the really cool things about Apollo’s after school math programs is that math is built into the curriculum in fun ways, where sometimes kids don’t even realize they are growing their math abilities. There are tons of ways you can continue practicing math skills with your child at home, while you both have fun together.

Dice Play

Dice can be used in so many ways to practice math skills. Have your child roll dice to create their own math facts to solve. Practice graphing, probability, or using tally marks, by tracking how many times you roll each number on the dice. For younger children, have them roll a dice and then practice tracing or writing the number they rolled. Play Yahtzee together. Bonus tip – have your child roll their dice in a Styrofoam bowl. It will make the dice quiet and keep it from rolling away.

Card Games

Play UNO together.  UNO is made to practice number recognition while also providing opportunities to practice strategy skills.

War is another great game to play when practicing math skills.  With the basic rules of the card game, younger kids will be learning about number order and number values.  For older kids you can add a challenge with a simple tweak to the game.  Before playing, cover up the numbers on the playing cards with post-it notes.  On each post-it note write out a number sentence (IE: 3×5=__).

When your child flips a card they have to solve the number sentences to figure out who has the biggest number and gets to take the cards. So in the example 3×5=___, their card value would be 15. You can also ask your child if they have learned any math games at school or during their Apollo After School math programs. They may be able to teach you a new game or two.

Cook Together

Between measuring, mixing, and timing, there is a lot of math involved in following a recipe. Get your child involved in cooking with you at home and you will give them opportunities to practice basic math and measurement skills. On cooking days during Apollo After Schools before and after school programs, your child will be able to practice these math skills, in addition to having multiple opportunities to practice each day at home with you. Baking cookies together? Why not have your child see if they can double or triple the recipe. That sounds like a delicious win-win for everyone!

Make Math Homework Exciting

If your child comes home with a math worksheet, try change it up for them. Sometimes a simple tweak can give your child the variety they crave. A simple way to do this, is to make a copy of their worksheet. On the copy, cut out each math problem. Fold each problem up and put the folded up pieces into a box or bag. Have your child draw one problem out at a time to work on. Once they have finished the problem, let them crumple it up and toss it into a finished basket or box that you can later check. Just don’t forget to have students record their answers on the original homework page to be turned in! I hope you can try some or all of these fun and engaging ways to practice math at home with your child. Showing your child that math is everywhere and can be applied to so much of our day to day lives is so important. My bet is that some of these activities may be so engaging to your child that if you didn’t say anything, they really wouldn’t know they were learning. Remember that math is found everywhere – at school, at home, in our after school tutoring, science programs, and cooking programs, during sports, in construction, in cooking, and in play. Helping your child feel confident in their math abilities is such an important life skill – why not have a little fun while you’re at it!


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