How can you enrich your child’s mathematical ability? What are some popular resources that you would recommend?
Thankfully there are many resources on the internet and in your local book store (or Amazon) where you can help enrich your child’s ability by giving them further extension work in a mathematical topic.
What does math enrichment mean?
Enrichment of a topic allows you child to show their ability and to dive deeper into that topic by showing how they can apply their skills to a given scenario.
Take for example, simple multiplication.
If your child knows their times tables, and you have done worksheets and random tests, an enrichment exercise will start by applying that understanding.
How do you enrich students in math?
What you want your child to be able to do is to take their times table ability and to see if they can apply it to questions that involve interpreting the content and using multiplication to answer, for example:
- If my Hey Jack! books each have 12 pages and I have 7 Hey Jack! books, how many pages are there altogether?
Your child needs to interpret that question by seeing it involves multiplication, they should speak out aloud what they are thinking so that you can see they are focussing on the right things. Sometimes children can focus on the object and then object to it:
“ Hey Jack! books don’t have 12 pages in them – they have 42!”
Our youngest
What would be even better is if you are able to have a tangible object to show how they could think about answering the problem, perhaps if you bought 2 packets of something, maybe those tiny teddy packets that come in boxed sets, you could pull out three packets and ask:
If each of these packets contains 12 tiny teddy biscuits, how many tiny teddy biscuits would there be altogether?
You
You could help your child step through the question by having them write down, three sets of 12, and then adding them up to achieve the answer, but the purpose of the exercise is for them to apply what they’ve just learned.
Extend the question to make it difficult for them to apply addition, which should prod them to apply something else, like multiplication.
What if we had 9 tiny teddy packets?
You
By steering your child to how they should be answering the question, they can then begin to understand how to identify multiplication type questions.
Be aware most children will not be able to identify which process to apply, and this is why we help them by providing them with an array of application questions to guide them.
Enrichment resources
Resources we have found quite helpful in both extending and enriching our children in mathematical concepts have been the following:
This website offers past papers of their popular Australian Math Olympiad tests. The earlier papers we have found harder than the more recent papers, and you will want to start these in the early primary years (too much for Kindergarten students).
Enrich-E-matics by Anne Joshua (Pearson Publishing)
These books are very good and we would highly encourage you to purchase these books as your child progresses. Most pages start with a basic question on the concept and then they progress in difficulty at each subsequent question.
Conclusion
Enriching your child’s understanding of mathematical concepts will help them to fully understand and apply what they’ve learned into practice. As you begin to help your child apply these concepts you will become more acutely aware of the types of questions to ask your child in the real world to help them build their abilities.