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Raising an independent math learner

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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Every student studies mathematics and it has always been an important component in education. It is a tool that helps us make sense of the world around us, and it is particularly important because success in mathematics has been linked to success in college and future careers. Simply stated, math counts when it comes to a bright future.

In celebration of Mathematics Awareness Month in April 2012, Sylvan Learning of Pocatello is offering tips that families can use to help their student excel in mathematics education and become an independent learner. The theme of this year's Mathematics Awareness

Month is "Mathematics, Statistics, and the Data Deluge," to demonstrate how mathematics and statistics provide the tools to understand data collected every day from various devices, networks and other sources.

"The deluge of data that children encounter in their daily lives today, and which they will encounter even more throughout their adult lives, makes it even more important that they build strong math and statistics skills. This flood of information contains good data and bad," says Nancy Anderson of Sylvan Learning in Pocatello.

"Good skills in math and statistics can equip your child with the ability to discern valid data from misleading data, and to make intelligent decisions based on factual data," Anderson added.

Here are some helpful tips that parents can use to help bridge the gap between the fears of math and the vibrant and essential world of numbers for our children:

VALIDATE IT: Don't be a parent who says, "I was never good at math." It will only send the wrong message that "math is hard" and it has null value. It's better to stress that math is something that has to be learned like anything else, by putting the time and effort into studies.

ADD IT UP: Point out math in everyday life. Make Sure your child knows that math is relevant to his or her life, whether it's figuring out how long a road trip will take or making out a grocery budget. Think aloud and let your child see you work out everyday math problems.

MULTIPLY IT: Find online resources that will help your child acquire the math skills he or she needs. There are plenty of free online resources geared to teaching and building math skills for students of all ages. You'll find everything from entertaining math tricks to multiplication shortcuts to free online practice sessions like the ones you can find on SylvanMathPrep. com. They provide online video lessons on all sorts of math problems that can help with math homework or studying for tests.

SOLVE IT: Get help before it's too late. While classroom learning may be enough for one child,, it may not be enough for another. Supplemental math instruction from a professional source can provide the one-on-one attention that is sometimes missing from a busy classroom and should be considered when parents lack the time or skill needed to provide help at home. Giving a child the time and opportunity to ask questions and learn math at their own pace can open doors of understanding in ways a traditional classroom cannot, and eventually can provide them with the confidence they need to learn in that classroom setting.

CHECK IT: If algebra is around the corner for your child's level of learning, log onto and have him or her take the Fit 4 Algebra Challenge. It's free and only takes about 20 minutes to complete. You'll also gain access to many free online resources that can help your child strengthen skills and get in tip-top shape for algebra.

Mathematics Awareness Month began in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation for National Mathematics Awareness Week. The annual celebration is a collaboration of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Industrial Applied Mathematics.

For additional math resources, contact Nancy Anderson of Sylvan Learning in Pocatello at (208) 637-1234 or, or visit them on the web at or call 1-800-31-SUCCESS.

Copyright 2012 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 11, 2012

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