You go to buy bread at the shop and a fair amount of maths is needed to calculate your change. When you need to double a cake recipe at home, you need maths to establish how many millilitres of milk you may need for double the recipe. Even measuring the milk using a measuring jug is a form of maths. You need to know how many hours are left before your favourite show starts so you start calculating how much time you have left. Time is another mathematical concept that you study from Grade 3 onwards.
If your child simply hates maths and dreads his or her hourly maths periods at school, perhaps you need to lend a helping hand in getting your child to despise maths less and to enjoy the problem-solving process more.
Maths may seem like a monster for many children. A big monster that children find absolutely too tedious to tackle. Children need to start understanding how we incorporate mathematics into our daily lives to be able to realise the true value of this problem-solving subject
Do all children need to be able to tackle complex mathematics problems?
To answer this question, start a discussion about mathematics at the eating table. Try to relate maths as much as possible to how we use the subject in real life. Perhaps the key to unlocking your child’s potential in the subject means relating what he or she already knows to the subject.
The act of problem-solving and tackling problem story sums need not only be left for school, reinforce maths concepts in your home in such a way that doing some maths-related activity becomes part of the home routine.
The truth is that the more hands-on a parent is in the child’s learning, the easier it is for the child to learn. If your child asks you, “Why boys are better at maths?” show her how untrue this statement is. Encourage her to believe that both girls and boys can excel at maths if they put in the extra hours to simply learn their timetables.
How to Help with Maths at Home?
Usually, the problem with maths is that children get lost when the teacher starts doing corrections on the board. Once they get lost, they start to see how confusing and scary maths can really be. Just like that, they compare maths to a scary monster and they shy away from the subject entirely.
You will most probably only realise that your child is struggling when he or she doesn’t produce the results that you expected from him or her. Sometimes a report card is the only way of getting alerted about your child’s struggles in the subject.
Erase your child’s fear of maths by making maths learning fun. Create the best learning situation by providing your child with maths-related tasks in such a way that your child will have fun tackling the task and forget that they are even practising maths.
Spark your child’s curiosity about the subject by showing them how vital maths is when they grow up and go out into the real world.
If your child is interested in games, show them the Python Coding language that utilises maths as its basis for creating games. Encourage your child to take a keen interest in Pythagoras as a philosopher and once he or she is interested in the philosopher introduce the concept of the Pythagorean theorem. It is far more fun to tackle a theory produced by a philosopher who you have done research on than learning about one whom you have no clue about.
Talk to your child about your own fears with mathematics. Let your child know how you managed to overcome all of your fears.
Perhaps encourage discussions about maths. Have a timetable challenge. Use concrete objects like pizza slices or Smarties when attempting concepts like fractions. Also, encourage the daily completion of maths homework or some mathematical activity daily. A simple task like getting your child to count how many minutes until his or her most loved TV show starts is a mathematical task that is fun but still teaches the concept of time.
Playing cool maths games with your children will also provide you with a good opportunity to teach basic math. Through games your child will learn about counting, sorting, telling time, number sense, comparing, reasoning, probability, estimation, and rounding off while playing primary school mathematics games.
For example, you could ask your children to measure the amount of pasta in a bowl or count the pasta shells while you cook.
Lego may also be used to allow your child to visualise operations such as addition and subtraction or multiplication and division.
For the younger children attending preschool, you can build their maths skills as well. Why not get them to colour in digits to teach them about writing numbers?
To ensure that maths becomes inculcated into your child's daily routine, get as involved as you can with the subject.
At the eating table, use of food maths. Have your children talk about maths-related concepts like sharing and dividing the food between people. When shopping, speak to your child about and discuss money. Allow younger children to do simple money-related calculations. In this way, maths will become part of everything else.
You can incorporate mathematics into everything. While cooking or baking throw in a simple maths calculation. Mental maths sums can be tested even while your child is walking to the bathroom.
Things like timetables need to become a daily activity in the home if you want your child to do well in mathematics especially at an intermediate phase level. Reward your child for every bond or timetable that he or she knows well. This may further motivate your child to want to learn timetables.
Remember when you were younger and wondered why you had to be forced to learn your timetables. Well, if you didn’t know your timetables mathematics problem-solving at a high school level would be impossible.
How to Help with Maths at Home with Fun Activities
While forcing your child to learn maths may lead to devastating consequences, you need to get your child to practise maths sums and get him or her to want to learn. If you allow children to have fun while learning maths, the idea of doing maths won’t seem so daunting.
Use fun as an element to be included in the way that you teach maths to your children. You can use maths games like Mathletics and many more concrete objects to teach maths concepts. Legos work well when teaching children about shapes, area, and perimeter. You can even use the abacus system for simple addition and subtraction.
You must remember that you reinforce difficult mathematical concepts when you engage with children in a playful mathematical-related activity. Tasks like count the beads in 10’s or even measure a little of milk allow children to visualise the use of mathematical ideas and concepts.
Practical Maths at Home Fun
You may need to rope in some educational apps on your tablets and devices to start making sure that your child remains focused on the task at hand
Get your child to become fully absorbed in the working out process. If you look at children in the intermediate phase they learn almost 3 different methods to solve every basic calculation and estimation. Children are expected to know all these methods. Make sure to spend time teaching each one properly.
Why use a calculator when mental calculations can save you time? Teach your child to think fast on his or her feet and calculate faster than a calculator.
By showing children that there are several paths to the same answer, you will help kids develop critical thinking and logic skills as they learn to consider each approach.
The Fun Element of Learning
Children usually have a natural curiosity and it is important to foster this natural curiosity always You can encourage the curiosity of young children by allowing them to appreciate the maths that exists in the world around them. You can engage in a sorting out and classifying activity with your child by sorting the shapes into the correct box.
Show children how to use the measuring tape to measure a toy house. Then think about all the mathematics that was involved in building a house. This could even lead to a discussion about the building profession.
You could even try modelling the building process with Lego bricks.
Maths is all around and you need to be able to draw your child’s attention to the maths that exists naturally in the world.
If you do want to engage in more structured learning, make use of a learning corner in the home. Designate an area so your child can work undistractedly on a maths worksheet. For simple addition and subtraction the more a child practises adding, the easier it becomes to add and subtract. Use a simple timer to time basic addition and subtraction worksheets every day. Repeating numbers will allow children to get faster and complete sums instantly.
Having a learning corner in the home offers a more structured approach to learning that children do need from time to time. You can still make the experience of answering a maths worksheet fun by completing the same worksheet with your child. Again this reinforces the idea of modelling. If your child sees you trying to problem solve, he or she will want to too.
It is clear that the more you incorporate maths into your daily lives, the more your child will understand the need to learn maths. Do easy tasks like asking children to count the utensils before you pack them in the drawer or to think how many rolls will make 2 and a half dozen rolls if your child is at the bakery.
If you are taking on the role of being a parent and a maths instructor, keep an open mind and try to engage in the problem-solving process with your kid as much as possible.
Keep your child focused on maths as best as you can by encouraging maths conversations and trying your best to find ways to bring maths into daily situations. Remember only you can make maths seem much less scary.
You can be the hero/heroine who helps your child beat the maths monster.
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