out a variety of numbers from the newspaper (including money, fractions,
and decimals) and have your child put the numbers in sequence from
smallest to largest or largest to smallest.
Have your child estimate the length of a wall, a table, or any other
object. Then measure it to verify the estimation.
Encourage your child to look for patterns in the environment (colors,
numbers, shapes, etc.). Have your child tell you about the pattern and
what it was that made it a pattern.
Have your child help you when cooking. Let your child help you read the
recipe and talk about what the measurements mean. Let your child
experiment with a variety of measuring devices (for example using a 1/4
cup measure and finding out how many it would take to fill a 1 cup
Make a game out of estimating quantities: beans in a cup, cotton balls in
a bag, people on a bus, cars in a parking lot, or people in a movie
Have your child sort and classify a variety of household items (such as
buttons, screws, bottle caps, keys, rocks, noodles, silverware, socks,
etc.). Ask your child why he/she sorted the items in a certain way (was it
by size, shape, color, etc.). See if your child can find another way to
sort or classify the same objects. Have your child compare and contrast
the different amounts of items in each group using words like more, less,
larger, smaller, long, short, etc.
sports statistics or weather information in the newspaper or from
television and have your child calculate averages or sequence numbers. Ask
questions like which temperature was higher, what was the lowest score,
how many points did the winning team win by?
Have your child do a number search. The object is to look for numbers
around you: on cars, buses, houses, signs, etc. Talk about the numbers
your child has collected (what was the largest number found, are there any
odd numbers, what would you get if you added/subtracted two of the
Have your child see how many numbers he/she can find that are written in
word form (ex: One-day Cleaners, Five Points Auto, etc.). Challenge your
child to find examples for all numbers between 1 and 10.
Provide your child with toys and games that require thinking, problem
solving, and are challenging (such as jigsaw puzzles, building blocks,
trivia games, Rubic's cube, various computer games).
Give your child various opportunities to create graphs (line graphs, bar
graphs or picture graphs). For example, give your child 20-30 pennies and
have him/her sort and line them up by date and tell you which date has the
most/least/same. Also save old mail envelopes and have your child cut out
and paste (in a bar graph) all the stamps that are the same (again talk
about which one is more/less/same).
Have your child make a picture puzzle to illustrate various numbers. For
example, choose some symbol that your child can easily draw to stand for
1s and 10s (for older children you can include 100s and 1,000s). List some
numbers and have your child depict them. For example, if _ = 10 and _ = 1,
then the number 15 would be drawn ______.
Have your child use a deck of cards to learn about the relationships of
numbers (more/less) and about subtracting, adding, multiplying, and
dividing numbers. For example, remove all face cards from a deck (kings,
queens, jacks) and divide the remaining cards between two people. Place
the cards face down. Each player turns over one card and makes a
comparison statements: Is it more or less? How much more? How much less?
Added together they would equal _____. Subtracted they would equal _____.
Multiplied they would equal _____. Divided they would equal _____.
Make a set of flash cards with numbers on them (the size of the numbers
will depend on the ability or grade of the child). Have your child draw a
card and look at the number (example 25) and see how many different
addition or subtraction problems he/she can think of that have an answer
When your child is trying to solve a problem, encourage him/her to use the
following steps: THINK - talk out and understand the problem and what may
be required as a solution; PLAN - create a way of attacking the problem
that may lead to a solution; SOLVE - carry out the plan; REFLECT - look
back and see if the answer/solution seems possible or reasonable. If not,
what might he/she have to change in the plan?
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Read nonfiction science books with your child. Have your child write about
what he/she learned from the book and how it compares to real-life
Have your child keep a Science Journal. In the journal, have your child
write observations and draw pictures about various things in the
environment (i.e., weather changes, animal behavior, plant growth, etc.).
Provide opportunities for your child to collect data and read charts and
graphs in the newspaper.
Encourage your child to do research on questions he/she asks (i.e., What
if?, Why?, How?, etc.). Ask questions from time to time that require your
child to apply what he/she knows or to research answers.
your child to predict what he/she thinks will happen next when
investigating a question.
Plant a small garden with your child. Have your child collect data about
the growth of the plants.
Take your child to different land areas, such as the seashore, lakes,
wetlands, and mountains to make observations.
Have your child chart the daily weather, collect data on cloud types,
record daily temperature, or rain fall.
Observe, talk about, and ask questions about animals and plants in your
yard, neighborhood, or at the zoo.
Observe cause-effect relationships in nature (i.e., how weather and water
erode rocks into smaller rocks and sand, how changes in the environment
affect living things, or how pollution affects the land and rivers).
Share cooking experiences with your child. Talk about how liquid and solid
materials mix, dissolve, or combine and change.
While shopping have your child help select healthy foods according to the
basic food groups. Discuss which vegetables grow below the ground, above
the ground, on bushes, or on trees. Have your child observe and classify
Provide your child with opportunities to collect, sort, and classify
objects by a given characteristic or property (i.e., color, shape, size,
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When reading with your child, emphasize the meaning of words, rather than
just recognizing or pronouncing words.
Point out new words in the environment (when driving, shopping, watching
TV, or videos, or reading).
your child to tell you synonyms (words that mean the same) and antonyms
(words that mean the opposite) for words that are being discussed or
studied. Also ask your child to tell you rhyming words.
Encourage your child to look up words in the dictionary to learn their
meaning and to confirm their correct spelling.
Help your child to create a synonym chart (words that mean the same). When
your child is doing a writing assignment, encourage your child to
substitute more interesting words (synonyms) for commonly used words.
Provide your child with a dictionary and thesaurus and remind your child
to use them when completing writing assignments.
Have your child predict the definition of unknown words when reading, find
clues in the passage that might help to guess their meaning, and then
check their meaning in the dictionary. Discuss why your child's guess was
or was not reasonable.
Encourage your child to read to the end of the sentence or paragraph when
he/she doesn't know the meaning of a word, and then use the context to
determine its meaning. Substitute synonym words or phrases to check if the
meaning is the same.
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best kind of assistance you can give at home is to read with or to your
child and discuss what is read. Provide good reading materials and visit
the library often.
your child to retell what was read in his/her own words.
questions that require your child to predict what is likely to happen
next, or what the story will be about, or how it may end.
your child to describe people, places, objects, and events in a story.
your child to tell you what happened first, next, and last in a story.
Have your child tell about characters' feelings or attitudes and why they
might feel that way.
your child to describe similarities and differences between two
characters, settings, problems in a story.
Have your child tell you what the problem and solution were in the story.
your child how he/she is similar to or different from a character in the
your child to find details which tell about the main idea or about the
your child to tell you which details in a story or passage are important
and which are not as important.
Help your child turn headings, subheadings, and bold print into questions
and then read to find the answer.
When reading nonfiction or informative texts, have your child read the
first sentence of a paragraph and then tell you what information is likely
to be in that paragraph.
Have your child read and interpret everyday types of reading material,
such as newspapers, advertisements, sale notices, bulletins,
announcements, labels, road signs, and billboards. Ask questions about
these reading materials.
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Read newspapers, news magazines, and watch television news programs with
your child. Discuss current events, your child's ideas and different
points of view on issues.
Read with your child about people and events that have made a difference
in the world, and discuss the readings together.
Make maps, globes and the Internet available to your child and use every
opportunity to refer to them.
Make the most of everyday opportunities to do history; visits from
grandparents, reading books, telling stories, holidays, elections, symbols
like the flag, the national anthem before sporting events, pictures in
newspapers and magazines, visits to museums.
Help your child learn about locations (such as the color and style of the
building in which you live, the name of your town, your street address),
so when you visit other places, your child will have a point of reference.
Create a treasure map for children to find hidden treats in the backyard
or inside the house. Treasure maps work especially well for birthday
Help your child find your street on a city map. See if your child can find
the streets of relatives or friends.
a globe or map and have your child find places talked about on television
news programs, or to follow the travel of his/her favorite sports team.
Watch travel programs on television and discuss the differences and
similarities between where you live and the featured place.
Take your child to visit the different political, residential,
recreational, ethnic, and commercial regions of your city. Discuss how
they are alike and different.
Play a license plate game with your child while out driving or walking.
See how many different license plates you can find. Talk about how they
are different and if the plate tells something about the state it
Don't let significant holidays pass by unnoticed. Take time to discuss
with your child the meaning of various holidays and their relationship to
our lives today.
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