How to help a 1st grader with math

Here are the top 10 tips to help your 1st grader excel in math, boosting their confidence and making learning enjoyable along the way!

headshot of author, Michelle

Author
Michelle Griczika

Published
July 19, 2023

How to help a 1st grader with math

Here are the top 10 tips to help your 1st grader excel in math, boosting their confidence and making learning enjoyable along the way!

headshot of author, Michelle

Author
Michelle Griczika

Published
July 19, 2023

How to help a 1st grader with math

Here are the top 10 tips to help your 1st grader excel in math, boosting their confidence and making learning enjoyable along the way!

headshot of author, Michelle

Author
Michelle Griczika

Published
July 19, 2023

Key takeaways

  • Help your 1st grader thrive in math by boosting their confidence, making it enjoyable, and fostering a positive attitude.
  • Discover ten practical ways to support your child’s math skills through fun activities, relatable connections, and effective goal-setting.
  • Explore the pros and cons of math apps versus tutoring to find the best approach for your 1st grader, igniting their enthusiasm for math.

Math is all about uncovering the secrets of numbers and exploring the fascinating world of patterns and logic. However, we understand that sometimes math can feel like a tricky puzzle for our 1st graders to solve. 

Sometimes, our little math enthusiasts may face challenges understanding and excelling in math. There could be various reasons why our 1st graders might struggle with math. It could be due to a lack of sleep, making it harder to focus and retain information. They might also need more motivation, finding it difficult to see the relevance and excitement in math concepts.

As parents, we need to know what skills are being taught in 1st grade math and pinpoint the areas where our child struggles. This will allow us to provide targeted support and create a positive learning environment when wondering how to help a 1st grader with math.

10 ways to help your 1st grader with math

Math help for 1st graders is simpler than you think. It just takes time, patience, and a bit of creativity. Take a look at our recommendations for first-grade math help and try them out with your child this week.

1. Boost confidence

Encourage your child by celebrating their math achievements, no matter how small. Applaud their efforts in solving problems or understanding new concepts. Provide specific feedback and highlight their progress. Remind them that everyone learns at their own pace and that mistakes are part of the learning process.

2. Practice at home

Set aside regular time for math practice at home. Use flashcards, math worksheets, apps for math help or online math games to practice 1st grade math problems that reinforce concepts learned in the classroom. First grade math help resources are easily available.

3. Create a positive attitude

Foster a positive attitude towards math by showing enthusiasm and interest. Emphasize the real-world relevance of math in daily life. Involve your child in activities like budgeting, measuring ingredients while cooking, or counting objects during playtime. By highlighting the practical applications of math, you can help your child see its value and build a positive mindset.

4. Use manipulatives

Incorporate hands-on materials like counting blocks, number lines, or shape puzzles to make abstract math concepts more concrete. Manipulatives provide a tangible way for your child to visualize and manipulate numbers, helping them understand mathematical concepts more effectively.

5. Make math fun

Infuse math into fun activities to make it enjoyable. Create math-related games, puzzles, challenges, or even a math scavenger hunt your child can participate in. Use everyday objects like toys or household items to practice counting, sorting, or measuring. By making math a playful experience, you can spark their curiosity and engagement.

6. Relate math to their interests

Connect math to your child’s interests and hobbies. If they love dinosaurs, ask them to count and group toy dinosaurs or measure their lengths. Encourage them to solve math problems related to their favorite characters or activities. Linking math to their passions makes math help for 1st graders more relatable and engaging.

7. Practice real-life problem solving

Encourage your child to apply math skills to real-life situations. Involve them in tasks like calculating the total cost of items at the grocery store, measuring ingredients on taco night, or counting the number of board game pieces you have. Such activities help them see the practical application of math in their everyday lives.

8. Encourage math talk

Engage your child in math conversations. Ask open-ended questions that require reasoning and explanation, such as “How did you solve that problem?” or “Why do you think that answer is correct?” Encourage them to explain their thinking process, fostering critical thinking and communication skills.

9. Set goals and track progress

Help your child set achievable math goals and track their progress. Break down larger concepts into smaller steps and celebrate milestones along the way. Create a visual progress chart or a sticker system to reward their efforts. Recognizing their achievements boosts confidence and motivates further improvement.

10. Try a math app

The DoodleMath app is a fantastic resource that combines learning and fun. It offers various math activities tailored to your child’s understanding level. Rewarding effort and consistency over being correct, DoodleMath boosts confidence and allows your child to develop skills at their own pace. Plus, the parent dashboard displays topics your child is struggling with under Analyze → Understanding. In this view, you can see how well your child currently understands the curriculum content for their grade compared to their most recent baseline assessment.

Math apps vs tutoring

You might wonder whether math apps or tutoring is the better choice for your child. Let’s break it down!

Math apps have some great advantages. They’re budget-friendly, super convenient, and offer interactive learning that can make math fun for your child. Many apps personalize the learning experience to match your child’s level. But remember that these apps may lack human interaction and sometimes lead to distractions.

On the other hand, with a tutor, your child gets personalized instruction and feedback that targets their specific needs. A tutor can give them the extra support they need to excel in math. However, it’s essential to consider that tutoring can be more expensive and requires coordinating schedules.

FAQs about 1st grade math help

We know helping a first grader with math can be hard so we’ve provided a few frequently asked questions many parents have when their child needs help with math.

There can be several reasons your first grader struggles with math It could be due to a lack of foundational understanding, difficulty with specific concepts, limited practice, or lack of confidence or motivation. Identifying the particular areas of struggle can help in providing targeted support.

There are many ways you can support your child’s math learning. You can make math more engaging and relatable by creating a positive attitude towards math, practicing at home, using manipulatives, and incorporating math into everyday activities. Additionally, utilizing math apps, providing personalized guidance, and celebrating their efforts can boost their confidence and motivation.

Hiring a tutor can be beneficial if your child needs additional personalized instruction and guidance. A tutor can provide one-on-one attention, target specific areas of difficulty, and offer customized strategies to help your child overcome math challenges.

Familiarize yourself with the math curriculum for 1st grade. You can consult your child’s teacher or refer to educational resources that outline the math topics typically covered in 1st grade. Awareness of the curriculum can help you identify areas where your child may need extra support.

Absolutely! There are many online resources and math apps explicitly designed for 1st graders. These resources offer interactive activities, practice exercises, and step-by-step guidance to support your child’s math skills. The DoodleMath math practice app combines learning and fun, providing a comprehensive platform for math practice and skill development.

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Remember, supporting your 1st grader in math is about more than just finding the correct answers. It’s about building their confidence, fostering a positive attitude, and nurturing a love for learning. By implementing these strategies and utilizing resources like DoodleMath, you can provide your child with 1st grade math help and lay a strong foundation for their future mathematical journey.

Related Posts

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Ten tips for helping a second-grader with math

Third-grade math help

Ten tips for helping a third-grader with math

Lesson credits

headshot of author, Michelle

Michelle Griczika

Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching first and fifth grades coupled with her double certification in elementary and early childhood education lend depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.

headshot of author, Michelle

Michelle Griczika

Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching first and fifth grades coupled with her double certification in elementary and early childhood education lend depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.

headshot of author, Michelle

MIchelle Griczika

Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching first and fifth grades coupled with her double certification in elementary and early childhood education lend depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.

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