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Understanding Math


Why is it important for my child to learn math?

Math skills are important to a child's success – both at school and in everyday life. Understanding math also builds confidence and opens the door to a range of career options.

In our everyday lives, understanding math enables us to:
  • manage time and money, and handle everyday situations that involve numbers (for example, calculate how much time we need to get to work, how much food we need in order to feed our families, and how much money that food will cost);
  • understand patterns in the world around us and make predictions based on patterns (for example, predict traffic patterns to decide on the best time to travel);
  • solve problems and make sound decisions;
  • explain how we solved a problem and why we made a particular decision;
  • use technology (for example, calculators and computers) to help solve problems.

Knowing how to do math makes our day-to-day lives easier!

Where and when will my child use math, and how can I help?

Watch these videos:

Math is Everywhere

Help Your Children Do Better in Math Through Reading

Why Do I have to Learn Math?


Helping Your Child with Math Brochure English
Helping Your Child with Math Brochure Spanish

What Can Parents Do to Help Children with Math English
What Can Parents Do to Help Children with Math Spanish

These booklets by the Council of Great City Schools will show you what your child will be doing in math this year.

Parent Guide Math Kindergarten
Parent Guide Math Grade 1
Parent Guide Math Grade 2
Parent Guide Math Grade 3 

How will my child learn math?

Children learn math best through activities that encourage them to:
  • explore;
  • think about what they are exploring;
  • solve problems using information they have gathered themselves;
  • explain how they reached their solutions.
Children learn easily when they can connect math concepts and procedures to their own experience. By using common household objects (such as measuring cups and spoons in the kitchen) and observing everyday events (such as weather patterns over the course of a week), they can "see" the ideas that are being taught.

An important part of learning math is learning how to solve problems. Children are encouraged to use trial and error to develop their ability to reason and to learn how to go about problem solving. They learn that there may be more than one way to solve a problem and more than one answer. They also learn to express themselves clearly as they explain their solutions.

For more ideas and resources about helping your children with math, go to the section titled, Books, Articles, and Websites about Math.