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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 liters 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 needs help with math, we have a solution for that. Call us at 09-444-6284 to learn about our State Standard-aligned programmes, JEI Math and JEI Problem-Solving Math!
Must-have skill for children #12 managing money
There are many benefits to teaching your child the must-have skill of managing money at an elementary-school-age. They can be more successful, responsible, and hard-working in the future, to name a few. However, many parents wait too long or never start to teach their child how to become financially responsible adults. This can be one of the most common parenting mistakes. In a University of Michigan study, Professor Scott Rick stated, “If parents wait until their children are teenagers to have serious discussions about money, they've already let a pretty formative decade pass.” As a matter of fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cites research that children are able to start saving by the time they are five! It’s not too early for your child to learn the v alue of a budget. If you want them to be prepared for a better tomorrow, here’s how they can start today. Otherwise, they may be the one in six students who never reaches the baseline level of financial literacy. Start Earning Money Teach your child to earn money so they internalize the concept “Money does not grow on trees.” It’s the result of a lot of time and effort. Recognizing this can raise their understanding of how the economy works as well as appreciation for the things they already have. This also increases their self-esteem as they see they are capable of taking care of themselves. They can earn money through a variety of ways. They could sell lemonade, receive bonuses on top of allowance for extra chores or special accomplishments, babysit, wash cars, or mow their neighbor’s lawn. However, a bonus tip is to also have them donate things and volunteer their time, so they understand that there are benefits to work beyond reward. Sometimes, it’s better to not monetize but connect with the community, and it’s important they learn the difference. This overall experience will teach them their worth so they won’t sell themselves short in future negotiations and job offers. Know How to Spend There’s no point in earning money if your child isn’t going to spend any, and there’s a know-how to spending, too. Because they are using their own money, your child will likely be more cautious of where their cash goes. This teaches them needs versus wants. What do they absolutely need, such as school lunches or supplies? After that, what do they want enough to spend their money on? This tests their ability to spend responsibly. For extra habits that would help them in the future, you can teach them comparative shopping, meaning what is the best deal and where can they get it? Some items can be cheaper at certain retailers, but your child can’t just look at the price. They have to check the quality to see whether or not the product is worth that price. For example, is it better to purchase a cheap T-shirt that can only be worn a few months or a pricier one they can wear for years? They also should check the quantity, as in how much they are buying for the cost. They could practice their problem-solving math skills here. Is it better to purchase 10 rolls of toilet paper for $9 or 20 rolls for $18.99? They can calculate tips, tax, and whether a $5 coupon or a 20% discount would be better for a $20 item. These are all practical skills for real-life applications. Practice Planning Budgets Goals exist in the monetary space, as well. Have your child practice planning and tracking their budget. You can use a budget sheet like this one so your child can get used to tracking their earnings and spending. It’s good to keep a record of all of this, take note of their spending habits, and promote organizational skills. They can also create short and long-term goals so they can practice or start saving up. This will be incredibly useful as an adult when the sheet is likely to get more complicated with bills, food, rent, bonuses, side hustles, investments, and more. This is also great for tracking things like donations and gifts as well as practicing delayed gratification since the money for expensive purchases would take more time to accumulate. Extra Tips A piggy bank is a great place to start so your kid can save extra cash and change, but as cute as they are, they may not be all that practical. Opt for a mason jar or an old bottle instead, anything clear that shows the money piling up inside. It helps your child see the results as they go. Once they collect enough change, you can head over to a machine to convert it into cash. Waste not want not. Every penny counts! Also practice teaching your child about credit. If your child is too young for their own credit or bank card, you could create a substitute one for the Bank of Parents. They can go to you when they want to buy something on credit, and you can set the interest and payback process however you’d like. This way, they have an idea of how credit works for when they get a real card in the future. — If you want your child to grow into a fiscally responsible adult who can afford a proper lifestyle and save up for retirement, you have to start teaching them now. Let them become responsible for their earnings and spendings bit by bit, as young as five years old. Nothing beats experience when it comes to handling finances; plus, it’s never too early to start saving up for the future. With these tips, your child will have a great handle on the must-have skills of managing money and budgeting. Read more about other must-have skills for children with more to come every month. For further help in the area of problem-solving math, we have the perfect centre s for you. Both JEI Math and JEI Problem-Solving Math can help your child learn the concepts so that they can calculate those taxes, figure out the best prices, and fill out their budget sheet independently. Find a centre near you or call us at 09-444-6284 to enrol them today!
Must-have skill for children #11: being a good listener
Being a good listener is important not only for learning but also for building strong personal relationships. Too often, people zone out or they are eager to cut in with their two cents. They focus more on what they want to say than what the other person is saying. How many times has this happened to you? However, listening well goes beyond simply staying silent. There are many aspects that make someone a good listener, and you will find that practicing this skill will result in greater respect, stronger friendships, and increased wisdom. This is why being a good listener is a must-have skill for your child too. Teach them the importance of giving others their full attention and watch their social life and academdefenseic performance flourish. More engaging study environments, like the JEI class ratio of five students to one instructor, can make it easier for them to practice. This is especially helpful if your child is learning English as a second language. You can also help your child become a better listener with these tips: Figure Out Their Role The first thing they should do is figure out what kind of conversation they are having and what their role is. Their role varies depending on the situation and who is talking. If a parent or teacher is trying to teach them an important lesson, they may want to listen quietly and ask questions for clarification. If they’re brainstorming for a group project, they can be more actively engaged while remaining respectful of others’ ideas. They should try to gauge what position best serves the conversation; sometimes, they can ask the other party directly. This also works in casual social settings. It’s natural that when a friend is talking about their problems, your child wants to help out. However, not everybody is airing their grievances to be told what to do. Sometimes, people want a sympathetic ear, so your child shouldn’t jump right in with advice or suggestions unless asked or appropriate. Practice Basic Manners Interrupting is not advisable. Of course if a conversation is fast-paced and exciting, it’s bound to happen, but your child should always try to let the other person finish talking. They don’t want the other person to feel rushed, and they want to hear the full idea or statement. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know how best to respond. They should be attentive, as well, much like they would behave in class. They don’t have to maintain eye contact the entire time, but should show through body language that they are paying their full attention. They should turn towards the other person, avoid playing with anything in their hands (especially their cell phone), and be observant. According to Professor Mehrabian, the leading expert and researcher in nonverbal communication, what someone says only conveys 7% of what they mean; the other 93% is expressed through their facial expressions and tone of voice. In the end, listening involves more than a sense of hearing. Be More Active They should not be an active speaker, but they should not be a passive listener, either. The way to be an active listener is beyond nodding and saying, “Mm-hm,” occasionally. Rather, it’s making the other person feel comfortable and heard. They can do this by asking questions that move the conversation forward or incite more details. They can repeat a few things the other person said to show they’re picking up on the important parts. These are great for when they’re listening to a lesson at school, as well. They can also ask for elaboration on someone’s feelings during a story. This shows that they care about the other person, what they experienced, and how they felt during certain moments. This will be greatly appreciated. React Appropriately Being a kind listener is being a good listener. Of course, there may be moments when your child needs to provide constructive criticism or tough love, but there is a time and a place. For the most part, they should try to be positive, helpful, and understanding. They want to make the other party feel comfortable speaking to them, but if they often react harshly or critically, other people will eventually stop turning to them for conversation. They should be encouraging or comforting, whichever the other party needs. This is an excellent time to practice their compassion and listen with an open heart. Rather than being judgmental, they should try to see things from the other perspective. This is especially important during arguments. — Encourage your child to keep these tips in mind whenever they are with other people. They will find that they can learn so much about others and themselves by becoming a good listener. For further practice, your child can listen to the radio or a podcast, giving their full attention rather than playing it in the background as they multitask. Being a good listener will help them in all areas of their lives, from building strong friendships and connections to absorbing new knowledge and wisdom. Not to mention, people truly appreciate and respect good listeners, so add this must-have skill to their lifelong learning journey today. For other skills that JEI believes every kid, from elementary school to middle school students, absolutely needs to become an effective lifelong learner, check out our Must-Have Skill for Children series!