Many kids count maths as one of their most hated school subjects. This can be a problem, since math is needed in every aspect of real life. Read more to learn how to encourage your child to turn that hate into a love relationship with maths!
Math for kids can be a daunting subject. Yet, there are ways for you to turn that phobia your kids have for maths into love – or at least like.
1. Lead by example
You have the potential to be your child’s best mentor in this department. After all, kids take after their parents. From personal experience, I have come across many parents who have had trouble with maths and have talked about passionately hating the subject in front of their kids. Thus, with that kind of sentiment floating around the house, you are setting your child up to dislike the subject or at least to view it as a challenge right from the get-go. Encourage your children to love math.
2. Play games at home
A great way to get your kids interested in maths is by playing games. There are a variety of games that have to do with maths for kids; some revolve around learning by painting numbers and others have to do with going out to shops. You can also turn homework hour into game time, whereby maths questions are turned into a puzzle, if solved correctly then your child gets a treat. This will help to get your child excited about the subject and might make him view homework not as a chore but as a fun activity instead. Maths for kids in a game format is always a winner when it comes to children. Here are ten games we recommend.
3. Read novels about Math
Books, which feature their main characters solving math problems or getting out of tight situations with the help of equations, are a great way to get your kids interested in Maths. Books, such as ‘One Hundred Angry Ants’ by Ellinor J. Pinczes, ‘The King’s Commissioners’ by Aileen Friedman and ‘Socrates and the Three Little Pigs’ by Tuyosi Mori would be great additions to your child’s library.
4. Watch movies that revolve around Math
Watch movies that features Math like Apollo 13, Jurassic Park, A Beautiful Mind, Moneyball, or The Da Vinci Code.
5. Encourage reading biographies about famous quants and inventors
Encourage your child to read biographies of famous inventors, quants or computer whizz like Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein.
6. Highlight Math through sports
Sports provide a great way for your kids to delve into many of the math concepts that he /she is studying, from statistics and probability in baseball to geometry in tennis.
7. Relate it to real life
Some kids may be resistant to maths as they don’t see how it relates to their own lives. Thus, it is important for you to provide examples of maths happening in real life. For example, a good place to showcase maths for kids is when you go out shopping with your child.
8. Discuss Math related careers
Encourage your kid to explore ways in which math is used in different careers. How do doctors use math? Bankers? Accountants? Help him explore, by researching online or talking to other adults, the role of math in the fields he is starting to consider.
9. Encourage investing
When I was 9, my grandfather convinced me to use all my savings for the year and buy some blue chip stocks. We tracked the progress weekly and finally sold one year later and I made a tidy profit. If buying shares is not an option, have her open a make believe account and track its progress as though he/she were investing real money.
10. Subscribe to magazines that feature Math
Subscribe to magazines like Wired that cover subjects related to math in an entertaining format.
11. Highlight Math in the news
Highlight examples of the real-world use of the math concepts that your child is learning when you’re watching the news together such as statistics and poll numbers.
12. Find your kid a Math mentor
If your child is struggling with math and doesn’t understand what use it could ever be to her, it might help for her to have a mentor. Enlist the help of a friend to talk to your kid about how they use Math at work.
13. Use shopping to practice Math
Make a habit of asking your child to help out with the shopping by calculating which items are better buys. For example, how much do you save per item when something is priced as buy two get one free? This will help develop his facility with these kinds of calculations as well as good long-term shopping habits.
14. Play music
Music is a great way for your child to engage with concepts related to math. Practicing an instrument means learning about tempo, measure, and meter – all of which involve math.
15. Get down to their level
As a parent, you should try to understand the struggles that your child might be having with Math. The best way to empathise is to work on the homework and activities with them. This will not only help you to understand your child’s relationship with the subject, but also with guiding your child do their Math assessments. This way you can get your child to explain the unfamiliar concepts to you. This will increase their own confidence in the subject, which is very important when it comes to maths for kids.
Tell us if these tips and tricks have worked for your child!
Here’s a video on another way to make math for kids fun: