From being confused with maths symbols, multiplication errors, and not being able to understand fractions, here are some common math mistakes made by kids in Singapore. And how you can help them avoid making such errors.
Don’t blame it on your genes if your kids are making the same errors in maths you did at primary level. Don’t question your child’s learning efficiency either.
This is because learning math requires practice and patience, and making mistakes is part of the process.
Elementary level of maths is composed of subtraction, multiplication, addition and division. Either kids are confused between the math symbols or they don’t understand fractions. Then, there are many students who are puzzled by expressions with decimals.
Here is a compilation of common errors in math made by children on a regular basis and ways to prevent them.

Not Using the Right Symbols
Most kids are not able to differentiate between the mathematical symbols or operators, especially those who are in elementary classes. This may be because certain symbols look like one another for early learners.
For example, a kid can confuse the symbol of addition with that of multiplication. It also happens that the symbol of subtraction may look like those of division or vice versa.
So, while adding two numbers say 7 and 10, the kid may write the equation like 7 x 10= 17, instead of doing 7+10.
What to Do?
First of all, help your kids recognise the use and function of each symbol. Tell him how the plus sign looks like, and what it can do or what is the difference between subtraction and division. To make learning engaging and easy, you can use charts, objects and games. Make sure your kids have understood the use and function of a math symbol before practising another one.

Multiplication Errors with Two Digit Numbers:
It may be easy for your kids to multiply 2 and 2. But when it comes to computing two digit numbers like 22×44, they may end up with the wrong answer, or may find it complicated to do so.
What to Do?
Sit with your kids when they are solving multiplication sums. It will help you track their errors so that you can work out on these problems. Remember, the more they practice, the more they learn.
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Eighteen, nineteen, twenty, Twenty eleven…
This is how many little kids struggle when the counting immediately shifts to a new doubledigit sequence. It is also seen that many kids are not able to count real life objects.
Remember, counting is the foundation of mathematics. Therefore, you must help your kids practice and explore this essential skill.
What to Do?
There are many simple ways in which you can help your kids understand counting. For example, you can use objects to enhance their counting skills. As your child’s ability to count grows, increase the number of the objects. Demonstrate how to use fingers for counting. You can also play a number game with them.

Equations with Decimal Point
For many elementary students, it is not easy to solve sums having the decimal point, whether it’s subtraction or division. They may be confused about decimal point placement when adding or dividing numbers having the decimal point.
For example, they can get answers like 0.5 and 50.1 after adding 0.5 and 5.
What to Do?
Put up a rule list regarding the placement of decimals near their study table. This will guide them whenever they are puzzled by decimals.
“6/4 people are not good at fractions”
Did you notice anything wrong with this sentence? Yes, it takes you time, even if it is a few seconds, to understand that “6/4” is irrational and wrong.
Fractions are complicated for even adults, let alone for those who are studying at the elementary level. This is why they often make mistakes when it comes to computing fractions. They don’t know what “part” is and what “whole” is, while writing down a fraction.
For example: The fraction of 5 out of 10 should be written down as 5/10 (part/whole). However, the kids may write it as 5/5 (part/part)
Remember, not being able to understand fractions can hamper your children’s basic learning of mathematics.
What to Do?
Your child can easily learn fractions if you present it in a fun way. You can use pizza slices, for example, to demonstrate the placement of top number (numerator) and bottom number (denominator) of the fraction. You can show them that the fraction of 2/4 is “two out of four pieces” and that ½ is “one out of two pieces”.