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Helping your child understand math is not difficult or expensive. It does however take some time, much like anything else worthwhile you do with your children. Thinking about numbers and how you can help your child understand you will realize how many different ways you can help them.

Starting with preschool children, count everything. If you are giving them a snack count the number of grapes, the number of spoonfuls of pudding, anything. If you pick them up to put on a swing, count one, two, three whee, and up you go. When you are pushing them on a swing, count the number of swings, up to 10 and then start over. Preschool children will rapidly learn how to count to 10 and beyond. Don't push, they will learn,when they are ready. Just make the information available all the time.

When your child gets to kindergarten start counting by twos, threes and such. Write the numbers on 3X5 cards in large neat letters with the word below it. Let you child use the cards to label quantities. Make a matching game, one and 1 go together. Have them count how many forks for dinner if everyone has one, two. How many apples do you use for the pie.

When your child has mastered counting by twos, threes, fives and tens start adding if I have 2 apples and johnny has 3 how many do you have all together. Count out the answers. This will reinforce the numbers they have learned, and will help with beginning addition. Don't worry if they need to use manipulatives, eventually they will memorize the addition facts.

Play catch with your older child for each catch the person has to say the next multiplication fact in a series. Have your child help you with the cooking. They can count teaspoons of things, cups of things etc. Let them cut the desert into equal portions. Have them time the washer cycle using the clock or a stop watch. Time how long it takes for the potatoes to cook, the rice, etc.
Count the number of plates to be washed, are their more or less than the number of people in the family.

When your child is ready for fractions, have them convert recipes for favorite foods from cups to half cups, teaspoons to tablespoons. Have them cut apples/oranges into 3rds, 6ths etc. Count the portions left if each one gets 1/8 of an apple.

Numbers surround us, finding them and teaching children to use them as a matter of habit will go a long way to helping your child understand them, and be able to use them with ease. If your teaching comes in a natural easy going way, with no pressure they will learn, and understand the numbers they work with. You might even let your child balance the checkbook once they have mastered addition and subtraction.