The parent's role in their child's math development is very important and should start as young as possible. Teaching young children how to count, add and subtract numbers in their head without pencil and paper can stimulate the brain to think mathematically. Parent s can start the process by teaching children how to count from one to one hundred. Teaching children how to mentally figure out math problems should also be part of this process.
In addition to good teachers and involved parents, children should be involved in extracurricular activities that support math. In the state of Michigan, students can join a club at their school that plays a game called Academic Games. This form of gaming is challenging for children. It helps them to develop their academic skills as well as their math skills. Children can start playing these games as early as the second grade. This form of gaming will teach children how to play the game of Equations, a form of Algebra, at the age of seven. These skills are called Higher Order Thinking Skills.
Computer based math practice problems are helpful in training children how to use math skills in real life while still using tried and true methods of testing. As with the old-school techniques, modern math programs also use multiple choice, fill in the blank and true or false questions to quiz students.
In addition to mental math activities, children should be given grade level mathematics workbooks to strengthen their math skills. Parents should have these books and other subject content books at home for additional practice and homework. These can be purchased from bookstores, teacher supply stores and multiple-purpose department stores where school or office supplies are sold.