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Making Math Easy and Rewarding

May 5, 2011

Math is all-encompassing, and its concepts can be found almost everywhere in the world we live in. Geometry encases us within the buildings in which we work and live. Nature is riddled with visual displays of geometric patterns, such as those found in snowflakes and seashells, which amaze and inspire us all. Yet when you utter the words "math" or, heaven forbid, "arithmetic," many students and parents recoil as if struck by a sudden case of motion sickness.

The following is a collection of ideas about ways to explore math with your children so that they see the underlying depth and importance of mastering the subject while also understanding how it relates to their lives and interests. Remember, children are very intuitive and pick up on your behavior. If you're a parent who struggled or struggles with math, be aware of how your reaction to math can influence your child's viewpoint.

Math may seem complex at times, but it's logical and requires practice. The more practice your child has with math, the better the results. Repetition is key, and the tips below will help make math an easy part of your child's routine while also making it a rewarding experience that inspires him or her to master math's complexity.

Personalize Math

When practicing arithmetic, many children can become burdened by the execution of math and think only about the painstaking, number-crunching challenge it represents. If you observe these emotions in your child, consider relating math to his or her interests. Almost anything can relate to math, such as videogames, the patterns of clothes or even a favorite toy. All of these things and more were created using math. Point out that your child's favorite skinny jeans were meticulously measured, scrutinized and cut and sewn using math and its measurements. Soon your child will be looking at the most common object, wondering how math relates to its creation or use.

Appeal to the Artist Inside

Many observations of children suggest that students who avoid or are disgruntled by math are those who would rather paint, draw or pursue creative arts than focus on exploring the art of numbers. Creativity can be a gateway to introducing math in a whole new fashion. Introduce your son or daughter to fractal art. Algorithms that replicate fractions of images in different spaces, sizes and wildly vivid colors create this modern art style. Fractions and algorithms are not easy concepts to grasp, but visual representations can highlight the basics in an entertaining and easily digestible manner.
CoolMath.com explains the fundamentals and also has a gallery of amazing pieces of mathematic-based art.

Explore Math in Nature

Math exists in the natural world just as it exists in a textbook, and throughout history, it was the natural world that inspired many of the great mathematicians to explore nature's mysteries. Math can easily be explored through nature and the geometric patterns that natural objects such as honeycombs or snowflakes contain. Even the stunning beauty of a broccoli and cauliflower
hybrid is an example of fractal art - a treat for the eyes, and an edible treat too. All of these things offer unique vehicles to bring math patterns and shapes to life for your child. Oranges sliced in halves or quarters are a great way to explore pie chart fractions. Patterns are also found in plants such as the fern, which is made up of concentric shapes. Waking your child up to the math that abounds in his or her natural world is an invitation to explore the outdoors while also emphasizing many math concepts in an experiential way.

If your child has distaste for math, it may be possible that he or she simply has not seen it in relation to the world. Showing children the creative and practical applications of the subject may be all it takes to open their eyes to the many ways math is a part of everyday life. Appreciation of what one must learn is the first step to embracing it with enthusiasm.

In addition to appreciation, give your child the basic tools for success. Often a child dislikes math because it's a subject that is difficult. A strong foundation in math fundamentals is critical for advancement to higher levels in school. Enrichment programs like
Kumon build this foundation and understanding of math with practice. When a child achieves success, and starts to feel more confident in his or her math ability, the "math mood" is bound to transform at your home.

An enthusiastic learner will always excel beyond his or her imagined potential. Developing enthusiasm for learning, especially subjects that might not come naturally, is part of your child's development. Be a math advocate, because a strong foundation in math is needed to be a successful and contributing member of society. Whether it is used in managing a career as a ballerina or sculptor or managing the household finances and retirement investments, math is here to stay.

For more tips and information visit www.kumon.com or call 1-800-ABC-MATH.

Kumon [Koo-mon] is an after-school math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Founded in Japan in 1958, the learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills.
Kumon has 26,000 centers in 46 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide.  The company's North American headquarters is in Teaneck, New Jersey. Visit www.kumon.com to learn more.

KUMON MATH & READING CENTERS (MIDWEST LOCATIONS)

ILLINOIS - Northern

Algonquin 4063 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin , IL
Arlington Heights 1141 S. Arlington Heights Road, Units E-F, Alrington Heights, IL
Aurora - Southeast 2206 Ogden Ave., Aurora, IL
Bloomingdale 160 S. Bloomingdale Rd., Bloomingdale, IL
Buffalo Grove - North 1205 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove, IL
Buffalo Grove - South 727 E. Dundee Road, Arlington Heights, IL
Chicago - Andersonville 5647 N. Clark Street, Chicago , IL
Chicago--Lincoln Ave. 6316 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL
Chicago--South Loop 2113 B. South China Place, Chicago, IL
Des Plaines 1531 Ellinwood Avenue, Des Plaines, IL
Downers Grove 1229 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, IL
Elmhurst 420 North York Road, Elmhurst, IL
Glen Ellyn 456 Hillside Avenue, Glen Ellyn, IL
Glenview 1132 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL
Gurnee 401 N. Riverside Drive, Unit 9, Gurnee, IL
Hinsdale 777 N. York Road, Hinsdale, IL
Hoffman Estates 1622 W. Algonquin Road, Hoffman Estates, IL
Homer Glen 14224 S. Bell Road, Homer Glen, IL
Lake Bluff 123 N. Waukegan Road, Suite 201, Lake Bluff, IL
Lake Zurich 153 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich, IL
Lincolnshire 30 Riverwoods Road, Lincolnshire, IL
Lombard 533 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL
Machesney Park 1081 West Lane Road, Machesney Park, IL
McHenry 1308 N. Richmond Road, McHenry, IL
Mundelein South/Vernon Hills 726 S. Butterfield Road, Mundelein, IL
Naperville - South 2744 Forgue Drive, Naperville, IL
Niles 860 Civic Center Drive, Niles, IL
Northbrook 1749 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL
Oak Park 137 North Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL
Orland Park - South 8600 W. 159th Street, Suite 6, Orland Park, IL
Palantine 112 W. Northwest Hwy, Palantine, IL
Park Ridge 401 Devon Avenue, Park Ridge, IL
Plainfield 1500 S. Center Street, Plainfield, IN
Rockford 3055 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL
Schaumburg - Central 23 Golf Center, Hoffman Estates, IL
Schaumburg - Northeast 1057 Salem Plaza, Schaumburg, IL
Shorewood - Joliet 18622 S. Route 59, Unit D1, Shorewood, IL
West Dundee 649 S. Rte. 31, West Dundee, IL
Wheaton 616 W. Childs Street, Wheaton, IL
Willowbrook 50 W. 63rd Street, Willowbrook, IL
Wilmette 2300 Old Glenview Road, Wilmette, IL

ILLINOIS - Central

Bloomington 716 E. Empire Street, Suite A, Bloomington, IL
Champaign 405 W. Windsor Place, Champaign, IL
Peoria 7308-7310 North University Street, Peoria, IL

INDIANA- Northern

Central Carmel 727 South Rangeline Road, Carmel, IN
Fishers - East 10106 Brooks School Road, Suite 300, Fishers, IN
Granger 14500 State Road 23, Granger, IN
West Lafayette 2635 Yeager Road, Suites A & F, West Lafayette, IN

INDIANA - Southern

Indy North 1712 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN
Newburgh 3955 Haley Drive, Newburgh, IN
Noblesville 216 Lakeview Drive, Noblesville, IN
Pike 7855 Marsh Road, Indianapolis, IN

IOWA

Johnston 5800 Merle Hay Road, Suite 2, Johnston, IA
West Des Moines 1959 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, IA

KANSAS

Stoll Park 11822 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS

KENTUCKY

Edgewood 3031 Dixie Highway, Suite 201A, Edgewood, KY
Florence 8170 Mall Road, Florence, KY
Jeffersontown 10213 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, KY
South Lexington 145 Burt Road #1 & 2, Lexington, KY

MICHIGAN

Auburn Hills 71 S. Squirrel Road, Auburn Hills, MI
Beavercreek 3293 Seajay Drive, Beavercreek, MI
Birmingham 746 E. Maple Avenue, Birmingham, MI
Bloomfield Hills 43183 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield, MI
Bloomfield Hills-West Maple 6275 Inkster Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Canton 45674 Ford Road, Canton, MI
Commerce 2669 Union Lake Road, Commerce, MI
East Lansing 909 Abbott Road, East Lansing, MI
Farmington Hills 27622 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills, MI
Grand Rapids - North 4318 Plainfield Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI
Macomb 46801 Garfield Road, Macomb, MI
Massillon 7182 Fulton Drive NW, Suite 105A, Canton , OH
Midtown 111 E. Kirby Street, RM 2,3,4, Detroit, MI
Okemos 2199 Jolly Rd. - STE. 135 A, Okemos, MI
Plymouth 257 N. Main Street, Plymouth, MI
Rochester Hills 134 W. University Dr., Ste. 106, Rochester, MI
Royal Oak 2707 W. Webster, Royal Oak, MI
St. Clair Shores 21147 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Sterling Heights 37856 Van Dyke Avenue, Sterling Heights, MI
Troy-East 38921 Dequindre Road, Troy, MI
Troy-North 46 W. Square Lake, Troy, MI
Walled Lake 49030 Pontiac Trail, Ste. 300, Wixom, MI
Washington-Shelby 52015 Van Dyke, Shelby Township, MI
West Bloomfield 6433 Farmington Road, West Bloomfield, MI
Westland 38545 Ford Road, Ste. 203, Westland, MI

MINNESOTA

Bloomington 10800 Normandale Boulevard, Ste. 103, Bloomington, MN
Chanhassen 854 West 78th Street, Suite 202, Chanhassen, MN
Eden Prairie 7510 Market Place Drive, Ste. 101, Eden Prairie, MN
Edina 5100 Eden Avenue, Suites 203/204, Edina, MN
Elk River 586 Dodge Avenue, Suite A, Elk River, MN
Plymouth 3475 Plymouth Blvd, #400, Plymouth, MN

MISSOURI

Chesterfield 15510 Olive Blvd., Ste. 110 & 105, Chesterfield, MO
Clayton 201 S. Central Avenue, #100, Clayton, MO
Florissant 2568 N. Hwy 67, Florissant, MO
Harvester 3930 South Old Highway 94, Suite 47, St. Charles, MO
Kirkwood 134 W. Madison, Kirkwood, MO
Maryland Heights 2045 Dorsett Village, Maryland Heights, MO
O'Fallon 2717 Highway K, O'Fallon, MO
Oakville 6070-B Telegraph Road, Oakville, MO

OHIO - Northern

Dublin 6135 Rings Road, Dublin, OH
Gahanna 110 N. High Street, Suite 108, Gahanna, OH
Hilliard 3582 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, OH
Perry sburg 13003 Eckel Junction Road, Ste. 3E, Perrysburg, OH
Powell 74 Clairdan Drive, Powell, OH
Solon 33431 Aurora Road, Solon, OH
Strongsville 20884 Royalton Road, Unit C, Strongsville, OH
Sylvania 4024 N. Holland Sylvania Road, Unit #9, Toledo, OH
Westlake 24599 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, OH

OHIO - Southern

Anderson 8315 Beechmont Ave., Ste #28, Cincinnati, OH
Fairborn 1226 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs, Suite 4D, Fairborn, OH
Kettering 2655 Olson Drive, Kettering, OH
Mason 6209 Snider Road, Suite B, Mason, OH
Springboro 300 South Main, Springboro, OH
West Chester 8202 Highland Pointe Drive, West Chester, OH

WISCONSIN

Mequon 1402 West Mequon, Mequon, WI
Waukesha 1840 Meadow Lane, Suite. A, Waukesha, WI
Wauwatosa 11550 W. North Avenue, Wauwatosa, WI

Top Choice Homeschooling Curriculum

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