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How to Teach Your Child Fractions

A guide for parents on how they can support the teaching of fractions to their child

Every child is different. Each has areas of learning that they are very able in and others that they have difficulty in understanding. Mathematics is divided up into very many areas of study. Some topics children absorb easily, whilst others they have difficulty with understanding. Fractions is an area of study that children often have difficulty in understanding the concept of and realising how this can be applied. Here is a guide on how you can help your child to understand the concept of fractions and support their learning.

Simplify

Mathematical language can be confusing for children. The subject of mathematics refers to topics with very specific terminology that can often be difficult for a child to understand. If your child is learning fractions for the first time then it is likely that they will not understand the term fractions. Try explaining it to them in language that they will understand. For example, one way in which you could explain what fractions are is that they are equal parts of a whole. If your child has already studied division then you can also use the topic of division to help you to explain fractions.

Start With Easier Fractions

Some fractions are easier to understand than others. In the case of younger children, or those who have difficulty with their mathematical development, it is important to start off with the easiest fractions. Halves and quarters tend to be one the easiest fractions for children to understand, thirds and fractions of larger amounts, such as twelfths or seventeenths, are much more difficult to understand. Avoid using more difficult fractions until your child has a basic grasp of the more simple fractions.

Make It Visual

All children are individual in the way that they learn. Some children find it easier to understand a topic if it is presented to them visually. To help a child understand fractions visually you can use educational videos, draw fractions on a white board and visually show them how things can be divided up into different and equal segments.

Make It Kinaesthetic

Other children learn kinaesthetically. All that this means is that they learn by doing. You can do this by giving children counters and asking them to make two equal piles, that are halves, or four equal pile that are quarters. You can use similar techniques by folding or cutting paper or sharing out a cake.

Relate to Real Life Situations

Often, children find mathematical topics difficult to study and understand because they cannot understand how they relate to their life and why they need to know the information. Relating to real life situations can really help a child to grasp fractions and gain a better understanding of this subject. With younger children you can use the example of dividing up a certain number of sweets between friends. For example, you can put twenty sweets on the tale and tell them that they have to be shared with four friends. This means that they will each have a quarter of the sweets. Put the names of four people on paper and place a sweet at a time on each name. There should then be five sweets on each name. You can then explain that the sweets have been divided into quarters and that a quarter of twenty is five.

Practise

Once the child has the basic concept of what a fraction is, you can present them with different sums to complete. For example, find one half of ten. They can use concrete apparatus, such as counters, to help them complete the sums until they are more confident at completing the work that is set.

Use the internet

A fun way for children to learn fractions is by using the internet. This caters for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. The internet has a lot of sites that have fun mathematics games to support the development of mathematical skills. Using the internet in this way means that your child will have fun learning fractions.

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Comments (2)

Good Job

In few weeks, I can use these tips.

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