How to Build Your Child’s Love for Mathematics
Try explaining (yet again) to your child how important Maths truly is, and watch tantrums fly. Particularly so when he or she is struggling with converting fractions to percentages, or trying to find out how much ¾ of the remainder of Sally’s marbles is after she gives away 2/7 of them to Ravi.
It’s normal for children to feel frustrated, and very put off by the subject, when it seems to them that all they do is to practise, practise and then practise some more. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all experienced similar frustrations back in the day too. The key, then, is to approach it differently. Read on to find out how!
Encourage number sense
Number sense is the ability to understand, relate and connect numbers. Generally, children with a strong sense of numbers have a more solid foundation in understanding mathematical concepts, even the more complex ones they will encounter when they get more academically advanced.
Children develop number sense when they’re able to connect numbers to their own life experiences. Everyday tasks like handling money, estimating distance and speed, judging time or calculating rate, present themselves in all guises several times a day. Help your child identify that connection.
For instance, ask your child when you’re at the supermarket to figure out the price of three cans of baked beans. Or to figure out if it’s cheaper to buy 5 Fuji apples for $3.50 or 6 Royal Gala apples for $4. In the car, ask how long it will take to travel to your destination based on your speed. Ask your child to calculate the price of a discounted book in the bookstore, and how long it will take to save up his allowance for it.
In this way, we not only get your child to develop a natural appreciation for mathematical skills in his or her life, we also get them to see how it exists outside of school.
Play maths games at home
A lot of times, children tend to enjoy something more when they associate their experiences with positive emotions. Board games like chess, dominoes and checkers stimulate children’s minds and help them to calculate moves in order to win. Most do not realise it, but the logic and thought behind figuring out each move is deeply rooted in mathematical ability and number sense.
One other game you can try is Monopoly – hands down the game for getting children thoroughly and completely invested. With the concept of percentages, calculation of rent and the physical handling of money, it’s really a sneaky way to ensure your child is getting some maths practice while playing too. The bonus? It usually keeps them occupied for hours!
Get familiar with schoolwork
It’s important to know what mathematical skills your child is learning in his current grade. Knowing what your child is learning at school or at Cognitus Academy will make it easier for you to complement what he should be revising at home.
Monitor your child’s homework, and break it up into manageable chunks. Children tend to shy away from tasks that seem monumental, and the goal here is to present that in a way that your child will easily take to.
It’s inarguably a self-fulfilling prophecy, but most children will put in more effort for subjects they’re already scoring well for, precisely because they find it easy and know they’re good at it.