baking kidSome children will absolutely refuse to learn math in the typical style of frontal learning (requiring sitting still and paying attention). Still, math skills are vital to success in life and it is therefore vital for your child to learn how math works, in whatever method works.

Cooking and baking with your children is a great boost on the math front. It also gives your child other knowledge and skills: hygiene, independence, nutrition and the appreciation of and ability to help out in the family unit.

Verbalizing what you’re doing as you’re measuring will slowly imbue understanding. Before you know it, your child will be asking YOU these questions right back.

Doubling or halving recipes:
We’re doubling/tripling/halving this recipe. So instead of 2 cups of milk, how many will we need?

Parts of a cup:
We need a quarter cup of lemon juice. Please measure that into this cup.

Cutting up what you’ve made into pieces:
It’s our family, Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Floyd with his three children. Into how many pieces do we need to cut the cake? What’s the best way to do that?

Counting the pieces in the pan:
There are five pieces in this direction and three in that direction. Without counting, how many pieces of cake are in this pan?

cooking kidFinding lowest common denominator when adding ingredients:
We have to add ¾ cup of flour, plus two tablespoons of flour. How much flour would that work out to? Well, four tablespoons is a quarter of a cup, so two tablespoons would be an eighth of a cup. We have ¾ plus 1/8. How do we measure that out?

Obviously, this type of activity isn’t going to work when you’re in a hurry. It’s more of a “Let’s do something together” item, rather than “We need a cake before Aunt Hannah arrives at a 5:00pm.”

Once you and your child have this mathematical dialog going, and you see your child understanding and succeeding, then sit down with the math book and show how this all translates back into the book work.  Once you’ve broken through the mental block on the subject by avoiding the book, the book won’t be as scary, after all.

Take your time and enjoy all the bundles of benefits!

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