Websites Parents Can Use to Help Their Children With Math

Online Math Help and Math Today

Have you ever said to your child, "We weren't doing that when I was in school," or "That's not the way I was taught to do it." You are absolutely right. Math is being taught differently today than it was 20-30 years ago. Drill and practice are now words of the past. The current school of thought by many is that most children learn more easily through conceptual math. Conceptual math understanding is what educators strive to achieve with students before teaching procedures and processes to solving problems. I agree with Mathematician Keith Devlin in that this order is not possible in many cases, as he puts it, "Theoretically, I think it probably is possible to achieve (conceptual) understanding along with skill mastery for any mathematical topic, but it would take far too long, with a likely result that the student would simply lose heart and give up long before achieving sufficient understanding." That brings me to why I have written this article. As parents, we are often lost as to how to help our children understand their math. Fortunately, the challenge of learning today's math can be more easily met with the technology, which as parents we have at our fingertips. Below you will find several incredibly helpful online math help websites to use with your children when they are having trouble with math.

Educational Resources: Math Websites for Children

Wild On Math

This site allows your child to practice their basic facts with a timer. It has addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and a random choice which mixes the operations. You also have the option of choosing a grade level, grades 1 through 6. This site is very child-friendly and students can easily use it independently. Children need to know their basic facts well as they they will learn harder concepts which require them to recall facts quickly.

Natural Library of Virtual Manipulatives

This site allows your child to use manipulatives for just about every math concept you can think of. The site is divided into the following categories: Number & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis & Probability. These can be accessed in each of the following grade level categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.The manipulatives are easy-to-use and effective in introducing and reinforcing math concepts as well as providing practice for concepts already learned. Some of the manipulatives include an abacus, fraction bars and circles, pentominoes, polyominoes, triominoes, tangrams, base ten blocks, geoboards, pattern blocks.

This site is loaded with free math games for elementary and middle school students. It is divided into the following 4 categories: number sense, math facts games, fractions & decimals, various math subjects. Beneath each category are 5 to 7 subcategories. This site has math topics that are hard to find such as symmetry, percentages, long division, and order of operations. It also includes typing training tutorials for kids.

This site is divided into grade levels from pre-k through 8th grades, algebra, and geometry. Beneath each category, there is a summary of the skills you will find along with the number of skills presented, varying from 42 to 277. According to IXL creators, "IXL is a fun, vibrant math practice environment where students enjoy learning and working to master skills...whether it is challenging students through independent practice or using IXL as an instructional tool in class. At the same time, parents and teachers are able to stay actively involved through informative, detailed reports that point out successes and trouble spots." While not required, membership is available that allows parents or teachers to track student's progress.