I recently completed a new series of blog posts on Parental Engagement and math. You can view the entire series over at the Demme Learning Blog.

Watch the video overview

Part 1 – Welcome to the Real World: Math in Action

When I was growing up, my dad would work on my math skills by giving my brothers and me real-life math problems. On long trips in the car, he would have us calculate how fast we were going by measuring the time it took to get from one mile marker to the next. My dad would also have us calculate how much gas was left in the tank and how long it would take to arrive at our destination. These challenges entertained us and sharpened our math skills and showed us practical applications for those skills.

Part 2 – The Reason for Math

We need to teach math in a way that allows children to understand and appreciate in their own mathematical work and the mathematical work of others. Just like we teach our children to understand and appreciate a Beethoven symphony or a Picasso painting, we can also teach our children to recognize and appreciate a well crafted equation.

Part 3 – Why We Learn Algebra

If you want to have the opportunity to be successful, then mastering and understanding algebra is essential. People will always use the skills they have to succeed and while you could succeed in some careers without understanding algebra, understanding algebra will make it easier to succeed. Algebra is an important life skill to have if you want to do things quicker, be able to transition easier from career to career, and avoid being taken advantage of by people who can “twist” the numbers in their favor.

Part 4 – The Importance of Sequence and an Individualized Pace in Teaching Math

Teaching sequential math is just as important as teaching someone how to drive by showing them one step at a time. (Tweet this quote.) This is mostly understood in the very beginning of a child’s education when we teach numbers and basic addition and subtraction. But often, the further along we go, the less the emphasis is on sequential learning.