How to develop a child’s interest in maths?
Not every child has a strong liking toward the subject of mathematics. Fair enough, mathematics may be an extremely boring, tedious subject. Most people say that mathematics is all about practice and numbers. However, there’s a lot more to this subject than just numbers and practice. If you’re worried that your child strongly dislikes mathematics, fret not. This article will apprise you of the various methods you can use to develop your child’s interest in the subject of mathematics.
Having your child repeat a math concept multiple times is a bore, and if your child is not a fan of the subject, he or she may lose more interest. This is not the solution as to how to develop a child’s interest in maths. Try using flash cards or create your own math game to make your teaching more engaging to your child. Alternatively, you could revise a math topic with your child and when it starts to bore your child, you can use school-provided online math games to interest your child once again, thereby making your child’s learning more engaging and fun. Hence, when it’s time to revise or do math homework again, your child will be less reluctant, therefore being able to absorb plenty.
Focus on logic, not right or wrong
Parents tend to focus on the final answer when going through their child’s completed homework. Most individuals think that mathematics is straight forward, with only one solution to obtain the answer. To a certain extent, this is true, should wrong concepts be applied. However, it is crucial that you help your child understand the question by using logical means. For example, when your child suggests one solution, always ask why and how did he or she come up with that method, and if your child is wrong, encourage him or her to reason it out. Your child will understand and learn better when logic is being applied, rather than just saying that the method is wrong or right. This will dramatically improve your child’s logical thinking to face future math problems. When your child is able to solve math problems using logical reasoning, he or she will understand the subject better and develop a deeper interest of the subject.
Apply math to real life situations
Try something different. Bring your child out and apply math concepts in the real world. For example, you could task your child with m
entally calculating the bill for dinner, or give a budget when grocery shopping. This develops your child’s interest in numbers over time and soon, will realise how important math is in the real world, and may start to put in more effort in understanding mathematic concepts.
The most important factor to developing your child’s interest in math is to be patient. It is easy to lose your cool or patience when a young child fails to understand a concept that is simple to an adult. You have to understand that math is a foreign concept to a young child and it takes time to learn. Start your child off with simple arithmetics before moving on to more advanced calculations and concepts such as money. Try to incorporate stories and use small numbers to aid your child in understanding. For example, rather than trying to teach them 5 – 2 right off the bat, give them a relatable scenario such as “You have 5 apples, Mom eats 2 of them, how many apples do you have left ?” (image above) This not just helps them understand the concept behind the question but also helps build on their problem solving skills they will need in the future. Avoid introducing mathematical symbols to your child, before they have understood the concept of addition and subtraction. Symbols such as, + and – have little to no meaning to a child compared to a relatable example as shown above. Only when the child has fully understood the concept of addition and subtraction in the form of relatable stories, parents can then combine these stories with pictures, numbers and finally symbols.(image above)
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