First, the Basics! The x axis of a graph refers to the horizontal line while the y axis refers to the vertical line. Together these lines form a cross and the point where they both meet is called the origin. The value of the origin is always 0. So if you move your pencil from the origin to the right, you are drawing a line across the positive values of the x axis, i.e., 1, 2, 3 and so on. From the origin to the left, you're moving across the negative values of the x axis, i.e., η, θ, ι and so on. If you go up from the origin, you are covering the positive values of the y axis. Going down from the origin, will take you to the negative values of the y axis.

The heart shape is fantastically useful for teaching all sorts of mathematical problems, including geometry. Have your child cut out a heart shape from paper and use it to help them understand symmetry. How many lines of symmetry does a Heart Have? Help kids learn about patterns by using colored hearts or a series of Valentine's Day pictures. Introduce them to simple patterns; for instance red heart, green heart, red heart. From here you can make the patterns more complex by making them longer or including a higher degree of variation. Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity for educating your child about many math problems; from simple arithmetic and word problems to patterning and geometry. There are many ideas to choose from that you're sure to find engaging and rewarding for both you and your child. So give them a try next Valentine's Day and see if your child will be struck by Cupid's arrow and feel the love for math.

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