Making kids love math is a challenge to most parents. Math is a skill that takes a lot of brain power to master, and this can be experienced by kids with a little hard work. Also, parents tend to tell their kids that “math is hard”, as they relive their own experience as kids struggling with formulas, exponents, and equations. Consequently, kids pick up this attitude and live their lives believing that math is a horrible monster that they have to face in their academic lives. Yet being skillful, or at least, competent in math is necessary to survive in modern life. We use math to figure out personal finances, as well as doing everyday chores such as cooking and shopping. Many studies suggest that early math training in kids give big and better benefits. It creates changes in the kids’ brains so that they become adept at problem-solving. As per the recent study, parents who engage in “math talk” provide their kid with a solid math foundation for later math achievement.
Making math enjoyable help kids grow to associate math with fun, pleasure and parental love and attention. Instead of being scared, kids will be excited about the subject throughout their school years. The secret to successful math education is to make it so much fun that children don’t even realize that they are learning something that will help them later in life.
Here’s how you can make your kids love maths:
Make your child consider math as not as study but as a game that can be played like computer games, sports or fun board games. Encourage your child to play card and board games that involve calculations (For example, Ladders and Monopoly)
Find out what games or activities your child enjoys, and integrate math into it. If your child loves to bake or cook with you, for example, you can have your child measure ingredients in wholes or in parts, or count and estimate objects such as number of cookies.
We are surrounded by every day real math problems in the form of money, measurement, time and others. Point this out to your child as you go with him through life. This includes checking and comparing prices at the grocery store, reading recipes, calculating coupons, or even measuring food or drink at the dinner table.
Encourage the interest of ‘mental math’ so that your child learns to appreciate ‘number sense’, their relationships and how they are affected by operations. Children with strong numbers sense are better problem solvers as they can approach to solve a problem in a different way, identify errors and be more efficient and interested in math, Teach ‘mental math’ as a game.
If your child has strong mental math skills, register him/her in the Biggest Mental Math Competition.
Encourage your child by giving them rewards on their math skills such as counting, doing addition or multiplication. The reward does not have to be expensive; it could be a sweet treat or an extra hour watching TV. Make sure rewards are attached to a specific goal or accomplishment and not used contradictorily or wrongly.
You can let your child play math games with a group of kids of similar ages, making a quiz show with points given to the kid who is first to say the correct answer to a math problem. The overall winner can win a prize such as a toy or a chocolate.
Importantly, never say negative math sentiments such as “Math is hard” or “I dislike math’s too” to your kid. Avoid unconsciously impressing on your child that he/she should fear math and that it’s the hardest school subject to master. You should show the attitude that learning math is a natural thing, and in fact, can be a lot of fun.