How Can I Help My Child Become Mathematically Powerful?




Early Years  (K-1st)

Middle Years  (2nd-3rd)

Older Years (4th-5th)



Use money to help your child:

Recognize coins

Count coins

Help your child:

Make change

Find coins that make 25 cents

Save her/his own allowance by opening a passbook savings account

Help your child:

Participate in making family budgets

Participate in grocery shopping

Begin to manage her/his allowance

Decide how much allowance can buy




Involve counting and numbers in everyday activities:

Count parts of the body

Count things around the house

Count past 10

Identify numbers on the elevator

Identify numbers on street signs

Setting the table helps build spatial sense and reinforces 1 to 1 correspondence (I need 4 plates for 4 people, for example)


Encourage your child to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s


Look for patterns


Encourage your child to practice skip counting by 3s and 4s


Count past 1000 (say count from 650 by 100 650, 750, 850, 950, 1050 for example)


Math Facts

Help your child start to memorize single digit addition and subtraction problems starting with the doubles:

1 + 1, 2 + 2, 3 + 3, etc

5 5, 4 4, 3 3, etc.

By the end of 2nd grade your child should know addition and subtraction facts to 20 (1 + 19, 2 + 18, 10 + 10, etc.)

Your child should also know addition pairs that equal 10 (1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, 4 + 6, and 5 + 5)

By the end of 4th grade your child should know multiplication and division facts to 12 X 12



These are some of the time concepts that you can help your child learn at home: 

Days of the week, months of the year, seasons, minutes in an hour, hours in a day

How to read a standard clock (with an hour hand and minute hand)

How to schedule time (if you need to do four things, how much time will you need?)





Involve your child in activities that encourage measurement like:

Cooking (fractions, volume, cups, teaspoons, etc., following step-by-step instructions)

Reading a thermometer (measuring body temperature and measuring temperatures outside)


Figure 23  These tips for parents span the elementary school grade range.  From J. DiBrienza and K. Casey, New York City. Reprinted with permission. For more information or resources call (919) 683-1709.