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# Learning Tip: Figure It Out!

By Susan Dichter

Events that call upon elementary math skills occur just about every day of your life. How much will you save if you pay insurance premiums annually instead of monthly? You need to be at your mother's house by noon, it's 60 miles away, and traffic will be heavy. Assuming you make at least 40 miles an hour, what time should you leave?

The next time you are faced with a question, don't figure it out. Ask your child to do it for you! In this way, you'll reinforce the message that mathematics is a skill we use all the time.

Your child will enjoy "helping" you solve problems and may even welcome ones that you devise especially for her. For example: The odometer on your car read 13,072 the last time you filled the tank. It now reads 13,298. How many miles have you traveled since filling up the tank? (If your child is a whiz, then you might ask her to also calculate how many miles per gallon your car gets.)

It's fun to figure it out!

Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk From The Trenches.