Involve your children in positive conversation.

Avoid using negative words, like no, not, don’t, etc. Simply changing a firm “no” to “I’m sorry, but now is not a good time. We can do it ___________.” Be sure that the language you use is uplifting and creates a pleasant environment.


Notice what makes your child smile.

When you see that positive outward response to your words of praise, then take particular note of the time, the words you used, and as many of the circumstances surrounding the event as you can remember. And be sure to use them again. Repetition reinforces positive outcomes.

Salute your child’s achievements.

When your child brings home a great report card and you know she worked hard for that “A”, then take the moment to say how proud you are of her hard work! Celebrate milestones- they pass quickly!

Initiate genuine words. 

Praising your child for something about which you are not earnest will set the wrong pattern. Be sure the words you choose to use come from a genuine heart- kids can read pretense like no one.

 Reinforce positive behavior with rewards.

Set rules that give opportunity for success; success then has its rewards.

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Encourage your child with smiles, hugs and laughter.

When there are no words, either because you’re too tired to think of any, or the situation makes you feel like crying for whatever reason, the simple choice to smile and hug your child in the moment can make all the difference in the world.

By Kelly Trotter King, Educational consultant and President of Generation Think

After 16 years as an educational consultant, one of the most often heard phrases that makes me cringe is, “I hate math!”. This is generally followed by, “I’m just not a math person.” Students from ages 6-18 say it, and it comes from both girls and boys. Why do our students today “HATE” math so much? It doesn’t have to be this way. I hate that they hate math!
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Students hate math for three reasons: 1) They are intimidated by math. 2) No one has taken the time to help build their self-confidence in this subject. 3) Math is processed very differently by male and female brains which can account for differences in conceptual understanding. I believe loving or hating math is a nature AND nurture issue.

While all of these factors carry equal weight, #1 and #2 can be attributed to the nurture side of the learning coin. Studies have shown that success in math is due in small amount to IQ (nature); it is more often than not due to practice, persistence, and effort (nurture). Try these strategies to help improve your child’s perception of math, and his or her ability to master the discipline. Making a few small changes in how you approach math at home can make a marked difference in your child’s quantitative aptitude.
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• Parents, even if you are intimidated by math and do not feel it is a strength, try to avoid phrases like “I too am not a math person,” “It’s in the genes to not be good at math,” or “Don’t worry, you will never use Algebra/Geometry/Fractions/etc in real life — just get through it.” The more value you place on mastering math, the less of an “out” your child has to be intimidated by it. Stop providing him/her with excuses, and understand that your words and attitude can undermine your child’s math prowess!

• The fundamental math years occur between grades 3-6, so do not let any conceptual gaps slide during these years. If summer school or math tutoring can fill in those gaps and solidify the math foundation, DO IT during these years.

• How do you know there are math gaps? Low grades, low standardized test scores in math, and teacher input are all valuable barometers.

• The most fundamental math concepts are: long multiplication and long division, decimals, fractions, percents, discount/tax/tip/interest problems, ratios, proportions, and all the associated word problems to these concepts. From these, Algebra, Geometry, Trig, etc. are all derived.

• Find your student a math champion and advocate. Do not expect your student’s teacher to provide the needed extra math time. They are generally too overwhelmed and busy with 30+ students. Find a tutor, mentor, family member, etc. who can be your student’s “go-to” math helper.

• Make math real and include it in your daily family life. Cooking, shopping, negotiating allowances, comparing sports teams’ statistics, making investments, calculating percent increases in gas prices, making travel plans and calculating exchange rates, etc. all present learning opportunities for real life math. Involve your student in these activities.

• Have a ‘no calculator” zone. Put down the iPhone when calculating a tip at dinner–calculate it yourself and with your child. Students learn by watching you, so every time you look for a way out of doing the math, you are teaching them to do the same. Math-lazy parents breed math-lazy students.

• Utilize online math games and software often — especially during the summer months. Every math teacher I know has a favorite math site or program to recommend to students. Find out your teacher’s favorite site and incorporate it into your child’s computer time. Since students today are so technologically savvy, utilize their strength in the tech realm and include math learning in their online repertoire.

If you do even a little bit of research, you are bound to find endless studies and reports that tout the value add of a student who is math savvy. Some studies correlate potential income earnings to math competency, and others denote the strong connection between real life problem solving ability and math proficiency. All of these studies have valuable content and make plausible assertions. There is one recent study in particular though, that has piqued my interest.


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Having strong math skills sets your child up for success throughout school. Your own attitude about math affects how your child thinks about the subject. You can help enhance his understanding of numbers with simple activities at home and around the community. Whether you’re a math whiz or find yourself reaching for the calculator for any math problem, you can encourage your child to improve his math skills.

Homework Help
Lending a helping hand on your child’s math homework can help him improve his number skills. Each night, check with your child to determine whether he has math homework. When he works through the problems, you can help by making sure he fully understands the math concepts and the questions he’s working on. Review the concepts if he’s unsure of what he’s doing. Even if he doesn’t have homework, you can talk about what he did in math class that day.

Games turn number concepts into an entertaining activity for kids of all ages. Many of the games you already own likely involve math skills, especially for younger kids. Counting spaces on a board is a basic number skill found in many games. Games that use play money give kids a chance to practice counting money and making change. You can also make up your own games involving numbers. For example, if your child is learning basic multiplication facts, have him roll two dice and multiply the two numbers that show up.

Real World Math
Have your child figure out real life math problems so he understands why he needs the concepts. You might not even realize how often you use math every day. Invite your child into the kitchen to practice his fractions. When you’re at the store, have him figure out the cost for buying a certain number of a particular food item. At the gas station, have him estimate how many gallons of gas you can purchase with a certain amount of money. His allowance is another way to practice math skills. He can count the money and set savings goals for a particular item he wants to purchase.

As a parent, you provide a support network for your child. A positive attitude from you encourages him when it comes to number concepts. You may not feel excited about math, but avoid saying negative things about the subject. If he has difficulty in math, work with his teacher to help him improve. The teacher might offer supplementary activity ideas for home practice or provide extra support at school. Praising him when he shows effort, even if he doesn’t get all of the answers correct, encourages your child’s learning.

This enrichment module will help students understand what digital roots are, how to calculate them and how they are useful. It also shows them some beautiful number patterns using digital roots and a fun activity using the same.

Available for Classes – 4, 5 & 6