Middle School

If your kids are not thrilled about math, we’ve got five tips from 5 Minutes for Mom to help get them more excited!

1. STEM Education Programs. Sylvan EDGE is an innovative STEM education program that offers after-school classes and camps in robotics, coding, engineering and math. Our programs give your kids hands-on experience in a variety of fun subjects outside of the classroom. For example, in a robotics class, your child could learn how to make a motion-capable robot out of LEGOs!

2. Do STEM Crafts and Activities. Since kids of all ages love building things, there are many ways to incorporate math into crafts and activities – from counting and measuring to using more advanced concepts like physics to build structures. Building model bridges is a great way to explore math and physics concepts, and have a cool toy to play with when it’s finished!

3. Math String Art. Using art as a way to practice math skills is a great way to get kids thinking about math in a creative way. All you need for math string art is a foam board, push pins and different colors of string! You can let your kids put the pins where they want, or suggest they make a design with triangles, circles or squares. Make the project more more hands-on by swapping wood and nails for the foam board and push pins.

4. Math Games. Math War is a simple card game that can be played by children of all ages! Keep it simple by comparing numeric values, or make it more challenging by using addition or multiplication. Here are the directions for how to play:

• Shuffle the cards.
• Deal the entire deck. Place cards face down and give each player an equal number of cards.
• Jacks, Queens, and Kings have a value of 10. You can choose whether you want Aces to have a value of 11 or 1.
• Set a timer for 10 minutes.
• Both players turn two cards face up, then read the number sentence aloud and answer it.
• For instance, player one draws 3 and 6, she then says 3 x 6 = 18.
• Player two draws 2 and 4, she then says 2 x 4 = 8.
• The player with the larger product wins and takes the four cards and places them at the bottom of her stack.
• If both players have an equation with the same answer, then it is war.
• During a “war,” each player takes four cards from her stack and places them face down. They then turn over two of their cards. Whichever player has the largest product, wins all eight cards.
• The winner is the player with the most cards at the end. Or if a player runs out of cards during the game, the other player is the winner.

5. Learn About Famous Mathematicians. Spend some time researching fun facts about mathematicians like Pythagoras, Albert Einstein and Alan Turing with your kids by reading books, looking online or watching movies. Then, take time to discuss what math careers look like today.

Is your child struggling with math?

If your child is having a tough time with basic mathematical concepts or facts, try not to get discouraged, but do seek help. It’s important to know if your child has a learning disability so you can take steps to help make learning math easier and less frustrating.

Remember, kids learn at different rates, and large classroom environments can be tough for kids with learning disabilities. Try some of our tips and remind your kids that math isn’t all about arithmetic and memorizing times tables, it can be fun and interactive, too!

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom’s 5 Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Math to read more!