Below, I discuss one of the five important ways that parents can help their child enjoy mathematics and do well in the subject. (1) Have a positive attitude towards mathematics, (2) Emphasize reasoning over memorization, (3) Reading is impactful, (4) Ask open-ended questions, and (5) Play mathematics games and puzzles.
Reading is Impactful
The importance of reading for a child’s development is vital. Reading books and having books read to children makes a big difference. Reading books benefits a child’s mathematics development as well because reading comprehension and vocabulary is important for mathematics. Books with a focus on mathematics can bring more benefits. Children’s literature allows students to interact with mathematics in context, helping them draw meaningful connections between experiences in the classroom and life outside the classroom, which can motivate them in learning mathematics. Books that integrate mathematics can allow for interesting mathematical questions to be posed.
There have been many benefits that have been found with the integration of children’s literature and mathematics. This approach allows for mathematics and language skills to develop simultaneously as children learn to read, write, and talk about mathematics. Books can help students learn mathematics through multiple representations. Inclusion of literature enables students to see mathematics as real, relevant, and motivating. Mathematics achievement has also been found to be increased through the integration of children’s literature. In addition, the inclusion of children’s literature with mathematics has been recommended as a way to reach a diverse range of students.
I write children's books that integrate mathematics based on these benefits. One of my books is Trick or Dog Treat. In this book Goldy is a curious golden retriever that sees math all around him. Children see what happens when Goldy gets to go Trick-or-Treating for the first time. Will Goldy get any treats in his pumpkin pail? The mathematical questions incorporated in the book allow children to work with numerical patterns and develop the transition from additive to multiplicative thinking. The picture below is one example picture that is included in the book. In the picture Goldy sees that there are four houses on each block and wonders how many houses would be on two, three, four or five blocks? Through my books that I have written, I seek to help students see mathematics in everyday life, to enjoy discussing mathematics, and also to have a positive attitude towards being able to learn mathematics.
As another resource, The Everyday Mathematics K-6th grade curriculum literature and mathematics list is available at the following link. It has a list of books and related mathematics topics that can be discussed through the books. https://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/teachers/k/literature-list/
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.