For many of today’s kids, math tasks have as much appeal as a visit to the dentist.
In their minds, math=anxiety!
Whether it’s a homework assignment, a test, or a class project, it boggles their brain.
Consider this. Math difficulties are reported to affect 3 in 10 students.
Sometimes a fear or dislike of math stems from bad early experiences. Other times the culprits are poor instruction, a lack of confidence, or a critical teacher.
But the good news is that with a little reprogramming, and the right approach, you can teach your children to have better math skills, and to even enjoy working with numbers.
Let’s take a look first at why math is important.
- Math helps the mind to problem solve.
- Math is a part of many everyday functions and practices. From measuring recipes, to budgeting, to shopping and sales’ prices.
- Good math skills are required for proficiency in standardized tests like ACTs and SATs.
- Math provides a solid foundation for many careers–from accountants, to architects, to bankers, to cashiers, to computer programmers, to postal clerks.
Additionally, according to CollegeBoard.com, students who take geometry in high school have approximately an 80% chance of attending college, regardless of race or other factors.
Now that we know the why (s), let’s address the how (s).
10 Fun ways to practice math with your children.
1. Food and Fractions. The kitchen is a great “practice area” for imparting lessons on math, measurements, and fractions. For example, a baked pie, sliced can illustrate fractions. A dozen eggs can teach little ones how to count to twelve, and measuring out various ingredients and following directions, all add up to a fun experience for the whole family.
2. Board Games. Numbers on dice, counting moves allowed for players, or paying out money won are all activities that build basic skills and visual recognition.
3. Flash Cards. These visual aids are great for cultivating memorization techniques and even story telling.
4. Budgeting and cutting coupons. Budgeting money is a skill that not only requires good math skills, but also cultivates good planning and decision-making skills. Teach them how to “budget” their allowance, or save up for a new bike or fun gadget they may have their eye on.
5. Number puzzles. There are numerous online sites that provide both online numbers’ games and/or printable worksheets to challenge today’s student. Book mark your favorites for easier future reference.
6. Time Telling. Clocks, watches, and exercises in telling time, also improve proficiency in fractions. Give your child their own watch and help them, learn the differences between analog and digital time telling.
7. Play money. This can be used for basic counting and addition and subtraction problems, depending upon the child‘s age and grasp.
8. Art. Use art and shapes to teach geometry. Kids love fitting shapes together to make tessellations and even the youngest learners will enjoy exploring fractals.
9. Music. Music sheets, music lessons, and timing can also help to reinforce concepts like counting and fractions.
10. Math Riddles. Riddles and word games are not only good for problem solving; they are good exercise for the brain.
Follow these ten tips to help your kids to cultivate a greater love for learning and to make the learning experience more fun and less pressured. Keep in mind that “practice makes perfect.”
Troy Edwards writes for Home Tuition Agency where you can find a Chinese tuition program tailored to meet the needs of your child.