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How you can make math more appealing to your child
While some children have a natural affinity toward math, others insist they’re not good at it. They complain, “Why do we need to learn this? We’re never going to use it…” This is when you as the parent or guardian swoops in! Whether they know it or not, math has everyday practical applications. They will use it more often than they think. Remind them of this whenever you can, but make the whole experience so fun they don’t even realize they’re learning or calculating. Whether your child likes or dislikes math, inject it into these everyday tasks to bond with your child and make math more appealing! As a bonus, these skills will prove very useful once they become independent adults. Cooking and Baking Cooking and baking with your child are great opportunities for utilizing math concepts like measurements, unit conversions, and ratios. Your child can help you whip up a meal by measuring the ingredients. If the recipe calls for one pound of ziti but the box of ziti says 16 ounces, your child can test their conversion skills to see if that’s enough pasta. As for ratios, look at the serving size! A recipe may make enough for four people, but you are hosting a party of twelve. You can ask your child to adjust the recipe so you make enough food for the party. Dining Out Not in the mood for cooking? Ordering in or eating out also offers many chances for your child to put their math skills to the test. Have them calculate the subtotal, and then the total bill with tax and tip. Is the family sharing an appetizer, like a plate of twelve mozzarella sticks? Ask your child to ration it out so everyone gets a fair share. They can also practice splitting the bill for every person or different groups of people in one party. Traveling Whether your child is going to soccer practice or the family is on a cross-country road trip, traveling is another excellent way to fit in some math. Your toddler can count the number of red cars or the sides of a stop sign. Your child can compute the time it takes to travel at a certain speed to a place located a certain number of miles away. They can also calculate how many gallons of gas you get for $20, how far you can drive based on the gas left in the tank, and which routes or modes of transportation are the fastest. Managing Time Math is handy for managing time and schedules. This is great practice for young children learning how to read time. For example, you could tell them to set aside a quarter of an hour for a break after school, and they can mark that in a planner from 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm. You could also tell them that whatever you cook that day has to be in the oven for 90 minutes, which they will recognize as an hour and a half. Older children could use math to keep track of the time they spend on various tasks through spreadsheets and charts. Managing Money Managing money is another math-heavy task that your child should start learning at a young age. They can calculate to find the best savings. Buying 5 lollipops on sale for $4 might seem like a great deal until your child realizes that amounts to 80￠ per lollipop and another brand sells each for 75￠. They can also create a budgeting plan, figuring out how much they should set aside every week to reach a savings goal by a certain number of weeks. More advanced children can try to tackle problems involving interests, investments, and loans. Playing Games Even during your child’s leisure time, there are many fun ways math can be incorporated as an extra boost for the brain. There are puzzle games like sudoku and apps like 2048 that are popular for being both fun and challenging! These games test your child’s ability to think not in letters but in numbers while pushing the limits of their logic and problem-solving skills. They’re so engaging your child won’t even realize they’re working with numbers. — Learning isn’t sitting down, repeating exercises endlessly in a workbook. It’s becoming active and engaged, actually applying what is learned in everyday settings. This is possible with any subject, including math! Your child just needs guidance, and you can provide that by inserting math into these day-to-day tasks. You can make it as obvious or seamless as you want, depending on your child’s feelings on math. If your child wants to have more fun with math, make sure you sign up for our newsletter! We send out math problems, on top of other activities like critical thinking brain teasers, for all of our students to enjoy outside of the JEI classroom. If your child needs help with math, we have a solution for that, too. Call us at (877) JEI-MATH to learn about our State Standard-aligned programs, JEI Math and JEI Problem-Solving Math!
Must-have skill for children #13: Perspective taking
“Perspective taking” is the ability to see or feel something from another person’s point of view. Without the ability to understand different perspectives, your child won’t be able to connect with people. Without the ability to connect with people, your child may face more obstacles than they pass. That is why this month’s Must-Have Skill for Children is perspective taking. The skill of perspective taking is an important component of empathy, which every child needs to build good relationships and be active in any community. Empathy enables your child to manage other people’s emotional reactions and resolve arguments or differences, otherwise known as conflict resolution. This improves not only their social life but also their future career success as various studies show empathy can boost business creativity as well as negotiation and leadership skills. There are many different ways your child can work on their perspective taking to become empathetic and successful. Properly Engage in a Social Setting Your child can improve their perspective-taking skill by practicing in a social setting. They should try to react less instantly and listen more carefully. They can practice asking for more details as well as repeating the other person’s thoughts and feelings back to them for confirmation. If they hone these active listening skills, they can better understand where the other person is coming from. The more they do this the more they will be able to understand different viewpoints and react appropriately. This will stop them from jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, or causing misunderstandings while introducing them to different life experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Imagine and Read Books They should also engage in quiet times when they can let their imagination go wild. They can imagine themselves in different situations or as different people. Reading more books can improve their imagination because they plop them into other people’s shoes—however, your child can use some encouragement. Here’s how you can help: expose them to as many different perspectives as possible. You can do this by encouraging them to read books about diverse people and situations. It is natural for your child to want to read about characters to whom they relate, but it’s important that they expand their horizons and read about characters to whom they don’t immediately feel a connection, whether it’s because they are of a different race, gender, culture, family, or socioeconomic background. While other mediums, like movies, can also help, books are best for inserting your child directly into the minds of the characters. Have New Experiences You can also introduce them to novel experiences, like volunteering at a shelter, becoming pen pals with a peer in another country, or visiting a school in a different residential area (i.e., if you live in the suburb, visit a school in the city). You can also explain other people’s perspectives. This can be through a personal experience, like when your child gets into a fight. In this case, you could stir up compassion by talking about how the person they are fighting with must feel. Guide them with questions like, “How does that make you feel?” “How do you think that makes them feel?” and, “What can you do differently next time?” This can also be through observation, like when you are out with your child and you see somebody’s car break down. You can make comments like, “Oh no, that poor person must be having a hard time…” Eventually, your child will make such observations on their own. — You don’t have to go about this alone—we at JEI can help! A research study shows that improving children’s language development and skills can improve their perspective-taking skills. We offer programs like JEI English and JEI Reading & Writing to help with this, and we are always developing more programs and resources to address every child’s specific needs. On top of that, our programs are aligned with State Standards, but they place greater emphasis on our students’ Emotional Quotient than most schools can with their large classrooms. Our focus on Emotional Quotient means we help students understand others, communicate efficiently, handle challenges, and, yes, take on new perspectives. We can answer all of your questions and start your child with a Diagnostic Test to gauge their current skill levels. Simply pick up your phone and call us today at (877) JEI-MATH.
2020 #JEIEssayContest Winners Announced
DIVISION A: 1st: Rishan Waghmare (Milpitas, CA) 2nd: Ananya Janamanchi (Franklin Park, NJ) 3rd: Ruhita Anand (Franklin Park, NJ) Honorable Mentions: Isha Brahmarouthu (Alamo, CA), Aditi Aradhi (South Brunswick, NJ) DIVISION B: 1st: Mira Trivedi (Old Bridge, NJ) 2nd: Ishaan Shah (Old Bridge, NJ) 3rd: Eesha Mohan (Monroe, NJ) Honorable Mentions: Anisha Gedela (Princeton, NJ), Akshay Khatri (Livermore-West, CA), Anshuman Roy (Bridgewater, NJ), Soni Patel (Parlin, NJ), Gloria Jung (Closter, NJ), Prajna Guduru (Bensalem, PA), Olivia Huang (Fort Lee, NJ) DIVISION C: 1st: Chloe Park (San Diego, CA) 2nd: Aanya Shah (Old Bridge, NJ) 3rd: Sara Kulkarni (Mt. Olive, NJ) Honorable Mentions: Sahanashree Rajeshkumar (East Windsor, NJ), Esha Mehta (Old Bridge, NJ), Asvika Gobinathan (Newark, DE), Tanmayi Thallapureddy (Austin, TX) DIVISION D: 1st: Om Janamanchi (Franklin Park, NJ) 2nd: Simon Lee (Cupertino, CA) 3rd: Neil Mathew (Monroe, NJ) Honorable Mentions: none