As parents, you can help your child want to learn maths in various ways apart from hiring maths tutors. That desire to learn will be the key to your child’s success. Enjoyment is also a crucial motivator for learning. In addition, you can point out how fortunate they are to have the great opportunity to learn maths today.
Having a good grasp of maths can open the doors to plenty of exciting possibilities.
7 Ways To Help Your Child Learn Maths
1. Offer insights into the different ways to approach maths
There are important things that your child must understand so they can develop more confidence in their maths ability.
Firstly, let them know that problems can be solved in many different ways. Learning maths goes beyond finding the correct answer. It is also a method of solving different problems and applying what they’ve learnt to new problems.
Secondly, point out that wrong answers are useful. Incorrect answers can be used to help them figure out where and why they made a mistake. Their explanation can help you discover if they need help with the concepts related to answering the problem or with number skills like division, subtraction, addition, and multiplication.
Lastly, help your child become a risk taker. Let them see the value of attempting to solve difficult problems. Allow them to explore various approaches and encourage them to speak up about their insights. This will strengthen their maths skills.
2. Promote a positive attitude towards maths
Maths can be difficult. I was not good in maths when I was a student. I did not like maths either. These statements can undermine your child’s attitude towards the subject. These comments will also give false impressions that maths is something that they can either be good at or not.
As parents, you must become a positive force in helping them learn maths. You need to let them know that solving maths problems can be satisfying, that knowledge of maths concepts is generally crucial in life, that anyone can be good at it, and that it will open up the doors to excellent career options.
3. Illustrate how maths works in day-to-day life
Your home is the best place to start exploring maths with your child. Integrate maths language and activities into daily routines to show them how this subject works in their daily life.
Sorting and matching activities will introduce your child to different mathematical operations like measurement and classification. For instance, let them sort the laundry to be washed. Ask them to put all the whites together, all the colored garments, and all the towels. As they sort things, let them count aloud how many shirts or towels are there. It is also helpful to give them the wrong number so they can count the items one by one and show to you that you have made a mistake.
Let them recognize that numbers are all around them. This will help them understand that numbers are important and that they can be used for various purposes.
4. Practice maths every day
Even when you are not at home, you can teach your child some maths concepts. In the grocery store, for instance, let them compare the prices of multipacks of vegetables and decide which of these packs offer the best value. Also, give them the opportunity to manage money by giving them some pocket money and encouraging them to budget how much will be spent. When you are on a trip, take note of the distance and the speed, and let them estimate how much time is left for your trip.
5. Let your child teach you maths
Instead of telling or showing your child how to add or multiply, it is better for you to let them teach you how they’ve learned to add or to multiply in school. Whenever you do not understand a part of the approach, let them know and ask for more clarifications. Each time they try to teach you something, they will definitely learn from that.
6. Communicate with the maths teacher
When you are concerned about your child’s learning in maths or unsure about a certain approach used in school, discuss this with their teacher.
Most educators appreciate receiving feedback, and when your child is having a hard time understanding these concepts, it is possible that other students are stuck as well.
7. Play games that buoy up mathematical thinking
Playing with blocks can teach basic maths skills like counting, recognizing symmetry, sorting, identifying patterns, and number recognition. Moreover, games with number cards will help your child come up with tactics for using numbers in several combinations by subtracting, dividing, multiplying and adding.
Helping your child to learn maths does not necessarily mean that both of you cannot have a good time and laugh. In fact, you can make games out of any maths concepts and skills. Use these activities to strengthen their maths skills as well as to build strong positive attitudes toward maths.
Bushra Manna is one of the founders and Principal of Leaps and Bounds Education Centre – Motorcity. She has 20 years experience teaching the British and American curricula internationally at primary level. Bushra has a passion for teaching and started her teaching career as an assistant teacher for 2 years, during which an autistic boy was appointed to her care within a mainstream classroom setting. Working with Ismail opened her eyes to the significance of knowing a child’s best learning style and having an individualized approach to teaching and building a child’s self confidence.