I teach the upper grades in my school, yet I continue to see kids who do not even have basic algebra skills in place. As a parent, I'm very aware of what my own children are learning in school. For the most part, I've been happy with their progress, but as they rise in grade level, I'm starting to see more emphasis on a loose understanding of the concepts and less emphasis on skills__particularly skills with arithmetic of fractions. The main problem with what I see with my students and my own children is that kids are taught "concepts" and are not taught skills__unless they're lucky enough to have a teacher who knows better. Most particularly, children are not taught mastery of arithmetic with fractions. Unfortunately, virtually all of their future math education depends on being able to do fractional arithmetic.

Your aim should be to make math fun for your child and help them gain a solid understanding of the basics. Encourage your child to incorporate math into their daily activities, help them do mathematics worksheets, and then use the lessons therein to create fun activities for your child. The secret to learning math is to have an open mind about it. Just because you hated math doesn't mean your child should, and you will be doing them a disservice if you pass your negative feelings on to them. Make learning math fun, get a comprehensive set of mathematics worksheets to make it exciting and stimulating, and encourage your child's efforts all the way. Every math genius had to start with 1 + 1, just like your child.

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