Math is used by everyone and anyone at every point in their lives. Learning maths is similar to building a pyramid, people require a good foundation to build the perfect shape. It should be understood that mathematics is not all about complicated algorithms and calculations.
Most people have difficulty with mathematical problems because they have not received a proper mathematical base during their childhood. none or less mathematical knowledge affects development in other areas of life as well. There is also evidence that children who have a good mathematical sense can make better sense of life. All of this makes it very clear that developing good mathematical skills early in life is very crucial for a successful future.
So obviously for the child to develop these skills parents and teachers play a very important role. It’s the way the subject is taught by the teacher and the way the parents help the child understand and retain it at home that determines how strong a base is created. Not having a good base in maths at a small age makes it difficult for children to grasp the more advanced concepts later in school.
There has also been quite a bit of emphasis on the fact that students’ education begins at home. This means a lot of the responsibility falls on the parents even before the child begins going to school and they have a huge impact on their after school activities.
Therefore, here are some tips that parents could use to help improve their children’s mathematical skills:
- Regular feedback from teachers:
Children spend most of their time in school with their teachers, which means teachers can give the best feedback on how the child is doing in school and help with guidance at home. Parents being open and honest with the teachers about what they think is the child’s problem or the area that the child is lacking in is very important to be able to come up with the right path of guidance.
- Technology helps:
Today children have a huge advantage because of the advancement of technology. Parents must let children use technology for educational benefits and not ban them from using it. Technology helps because it provides a huge plethora of opportunities and ways for children to understand concepts in fun manners. Using technology to understand concepts through videos, animations, games, and pictures helps them retain what they see and hear better.
- Turning problems into form of play:
Allowing children to memorize solutions to problems is a huge mistake. This would be a mistake because not all mathematical problems are the same and if they memorize the solutions and then if a different problem is put across to them they might not be able to solve it which will demotivate them. Therefore instead the children must be taught the correct methods and logic behind the how and why of the problems that will help them come to the solution themselves.
- Understanding your child’s comfort zone:
Another huge mistake parents often make is comparing their child with another, this must be avoided under any circumstance. Parents must understand that every child has its unique way of learning, understanding, and grasping. It would make more sense for parents to be patient and try to understand their child’s preferred way of learning maths than worrying about why he/she doesn’t learn the same way or at the same pace as another child. Parents must also understand that sometimes their child could be better at most other subjects than mathematics, which would mean that the parents must help him cope with the difficulties they face in the subjects rather than discouraging them about why they don’t do as well as some other kids.
- Awareness of patterns:
Developing awareness of patterns is important at a young age as it facilitates building a stronger foundation for mathematical understanding later on. A few fun activities that could develop children’s awareness of patterns are:
While on a walk with children, parents could point out the different patterns available in nature or ask the child to point out patterns that they can see and what makes sense to them, if any of the patterns are repeating or if there is any similarity between what they see.
- Building block or such material:
These kinds of materials could be used to help children understand how patterns are made and letting them do it over and again will allow them to perfect it. For example, telling the child to make a staircase out of the blocks, the first few times the child is just getting used to the pattern but doing it a few more times and he/she will make the staircase with the same steps.
6. Use the money to apply skills:
Knowledge about money and how it is used is a skill every child must-have. Using money involving basic mathematical operations like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, and other mathematical skills. Therefore, parents can use the money to help improve these mathematical skills in their children. Some fun ways would be:
- Let them help while you shop:
How the child can help will vary based on the child’s age. Younger children can help you by handing out the money and receiving the receipt. Older children can be asked to calculate the cost of a few things by adding the prices or making them count the money that has to be paid to the cashier and things like this.
By giving children an allowance they are not only learning home to handle money but also the value of it. Having an allowance makes children use their existing mathematical skills when spending it, when saving it or when dividing their expenditure for the month.
7. Improve skills through measurements:
Just as knowing how to use money, knowing measurements and how to use them is an important skill every child should possess. The use of tools such as rules, thermometers, tapes, etc can help the child understand measurements.
A few ways children can improve their math skills through measurements are:
- Ask them to help while parents cook:
Asking them to pass yo a basic measuring tool or having to count a few pieces of something and give them to you or even watch you measure ingredients can help them improve their skills
- Grow an indoor plant:
This could also help teach the child responsibility while helping them improve their math skills. Having to count how many seeds to sow, or measure how much water they should give the plant every day, or count the leaves on the plant, are things that can help improve the child’s mathematical skills.
Therefore, it is understood that children learn better when presented with fun activities that they can apply what they are learning, and as long as the children enjoy what they learn it is easier for them to remember it.
Hence, teachers must always be aware of students’ preferred learning styles and ways of coping and the same must be passed on to the parents who help them learn at home.