Parents often ask me advice on how to expose their children to math concepts outside of what is being taught in schools. Some feel like their children are ready for an extra challenge, while others would like to spark and foster their children’s interest in math.
If there are enough families at your school who are interested in this, think about starting a Math Club. This is what a bunch of parents did at our suburban San Diego elementary school. All you need is a group of parents who have the collected skills to manage and lead the sessions, and access to a classroom. There is a synergy from parents and children working in a group on a common goal: to develop skills in and appreciation for math. If you have a have a teacher oversee the club, that’s great, but it’s certainly not necessary. In this series of blogs I will talk about what I learned in nearly two years of coaching our Math Club, starting in the spring of the students’ 4th grade year.
First of all, what is a Math Club? For us, it was a group of students meeting for 50 minutes once a week before school, participating in math competitions and engaging in recreational math activities. You can plan the club activities depending on the students in your school and their interests. Whatever you do, the only requirement is that the math club helps foster positive feelings about math among students. I will discuss how we worked on this goal in future posts.