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04/05/2019
Using a calculator can hinder your child's math learning process. This post by The Tutoring Center, Southgate MI shares tips on how to teach your child to use a calculator effectively. 

If your child could benefit from one-to-one tutoring in Southgate MI to master their math skills, call The Tutoring Center, Southgate MI at (734) 785-8430 for more information.

How to Teach Your Child to Use a Calculator

Teach Your Child to Do Basic Math

First and foremost, you need to teach your child to do basic math on their own. Calculators are supposed to provide a support for when you need to perform more complicated math equations. Still, if your child relies on them before they even know how to do basic math on their own, their learning process will be seriously hindered. To avoid that scenario, go over the basic concepts and operations with your child. They should understand them, as well as know how to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide comfortably and successfully on their own (even the longer operations). This will guarantee that they won't be completely lost if they ever don't have a calculator handy.

Provide Other Tools They Can Use to Calculate

The calculator isn't the only tool your child can use if they need assistance when working on math operations. In fact, there are other tools that can actually help them practice and develop their math skills even further. A couple of such tools are the good old blank piece of paper and pencil. They can write the numbers down and use their brain to come up with an answer. An abacus can also be helpful, as it will allow them to move the beads back and forth to resolve their math problems. A tool that children often use, but that you should keep your child from turning to is their fingers. This is because they could become too reliant on their fingers, which means they won't be able to count or do basic math without them.

Talk to Your Child About Their Calculator

Children are incredibly smart and can understand the advantages and disadvantages of using their calculator if you just have a conversation about it with them. Moreover, if you treat them with respect (rather than reprimand them whenever they use their calculator), they'll be more likely to listen to you. During your conversation, you should let them know of the consequences that can come from depending on their calculator too much. For instance, you can explain to them that it's likely they won't have a calculator in some situations (like when answering a test or when the battery dies on their phone). Knowing how to do math on their own will be a necessity in those occasions.

Help your child do math comfortably and successfully with help from The Tutoring Center, Southgate MI. Call (734) 785-8430 for more information on the benefits of tutoring in Southgate MI.

Give Your Child the Right Tool for the Job

Something else to keep in mind is that there are several types of calculators in the market, and that you should give your child the right tool to help them out and to avoid confusion. This is because there are standard calculators, financial calculators, graphing calculators, scientific calculators, among others. If you give your young child a financial calculator, it's highly likely that they won't know what to do with it, which can actually disuade them from doing math altogether. For that reason, you should provide a standard calculator to get them started. More so than that, however, you need to teach them what all of its buttons are for and how they need to employ it.

Limit the Use of the Calculator to Verify Answers

Last but not least, it can be a smart idea to limit your child's calculator usage. A good rule of thumb could be to instruct them to only use it once they've already figured out the answer to a math operation on their own. This way, the calculator can help them verify if they did a good job. If they made a mistake, the calculator will let them know. This will give your child a chance to review the work they did and find the spot in which they made said mistake. In the end, this can be an invaluable learning experience that can help them improve tremendously.

Enroll your child in tutoring in Southgate MI. Call The Tutoring Center, Southgate MI at (734) 785-8430 to learn about their academic programs, or to schedule a free consultation.

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