## Kids + Math Games = Super

Parents are their children’s first and most enduring teachers. Even the best teacher your child encounters in school will only be with your child for a year, perhaps two. Even after children enter school, they spend seventy percent of their waking hours outside of the school setting. As a parent, you have greater opportunity to make a difference, to teach, model, and guide your child’s learning, than anyone else. You have a more intimate knowledge of your child’s needs and talents. You have a keener interest in your child’s schooling and future, and deeper motivation to help your child succeed. No one is better placed or more qualified than you to make a difference in your child’s academic and lifelong education.

Keeping in mind the profound impact you can have on your children as readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists, what can you do to turn your home into a rich learning environment? I don’t mean bring out the worksheets, flash cards, and dittos. It is about offering your children experiences that are most appropriate – learning experiences that are fun for all, a part of your everyday lives, and are deeper, richer, and longer lasting. These kinds of experiences develop children who are more persistent, more creative, and eager to do challenging work.

I have a suggestion for mathematics – math games.

Math games for kids and families are the perfect way to reinforce and extend the skills children learn at school. They are one of the most effective ways that parents can develop their child’s math skills without lecturing or applying pressure.

When studying math, there’s an element of repetition that’s an important part of learning new concepts and developing automatic recall of math facts. Number facts (remember those times tables?) can be boring and tedious to learn and practice. A game can generate an enormous amount of practice – practice that does not have kids complaining about how much work they are having to do. What better way can there be than an interesting game as a way of mastering them?

Games offer targeted practice in math fundamentals. And games can, if you select the right ones, help children learn almost everything they need to master in elementary math. Good, child-centered games are designed to take the boredom and frustration out of the repetitive practice necessary for children to master important math skills and concepts.

Your kids – whether you’re a parent or teacher – will learn, without even realising they are learning.