I think we can all agree that Math isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It frightened us as kids, and now that we’re adults, Math is still giving us nightmares (just think about our bills, loans, and taxes). And if it’s not easy for us adults, mastering Math can be more challenging for younger minds.
If you have a kid who’s struggling with Math, you may be searching for the best methods to use for them to understand this complex subject. You may be using math flashcards or worksheets to boost their mental sharpness, but these materials may send feelings of dread. You need to find other ways to make Math extra fun and easy to learn.
Here are 7 effective ways to make Math easier and more interesting for your little ones.
1. Let your kid play math games
One effective way to take away the dread associated with Math is to turn math into something that can be played and be entertained with.
You can use screens to your advantage. Use digital games to help reinforce and teach mathematical concepts. Downloading apps and games, like Nashville, Prodigy, and Dreambox, using your smartphone, or checking out cool math games for kids online.
You can also check out non-digital games, like board games. Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Checkers, Colorku, Yamslam, and Battleship.
2. Integrate math into a fun group activity
How about making math into a fun competition? You can invite your kid’s peers or cousins (kids of similar ages) and play math games like a game show or quiz bee. The first “contestant” to give the correct answer to a math problem gets a point. The one who gained the most points wins.
3. Show them the relevance
Make math real and meaningful by showing your kids how math is used in our everyday lives. According to an article published in Oxford Learning, kids are turned off when they can’t grasp the purpose of what they’re learning.
We’re not talking about the worksheet problems where a random dude buys five dozens of apples. You’re surrounded by real math problems that you can use to your advantage – you handle money, calculate metric measurements, determine the time, check the temperature, budget expenses, and more.
- Allow your kid to check and compare prices at the grocery store
- Let your kid handle and budget their money
- Make them read recipes and understand the measurements
- Ask them to read coupons and calculate the amount saved from the discounted item
- For older kids: When traveling, let them calculate your estimated time of arrival, given the time, speed, and distance.
4. Take your kid’s interests into consideration
In relation to the previous point, you can make math more relatable by associating with your child’s interests.
- Is your kid into sports? Let him/her calculate the scores, batting average, and percentage of wins.
- Is your kid into the arts? Visit an art supplies store, know the price, size, and quantity of the materials, and let him/her calculate the cost.
- Is your kid a chef in the making? You can ask him/her to cook with you and measure ingredients in whole or in parts.
5. Give rewards – wisely
When your child successfully learns a skill, like solving basic addition and subtraction problems or mastering the multiplication table, give them a treat. It doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be their favorite dessert or TV privileges.
6. Hire a math tutor
The best resource you can have? Someone who was specifically trained to teach math lessons to children: teachers. You may also consider hiring Math tutors for your kid.
A new study says that tutoring does not make children better at math – rather, Math tutors help kids become less scared of math. Aside from facilitating effective methods that help make math fun and easier to understand, a tutor can help reduce math anxiety through exposure therapy, altering the fear circuits in your kid’s brain. The repeated exposure can make your child feel more in control of situations that involve mathematical problem-solving.
7. Be mindful of your words
Don’t say negative sentiments like, “math is hard” or “I was never good at math” which unconsciously gives your child the impression that they, too, should fear math. Instead, impart the idea that math is nothing but a tricky problem to be solved – and there is an answer.
According to Anna Geiger, the author at “The Measured Mom”, “fun” and “easy” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Math is challenging, and that’s what makes it fun. Your goal is not really to make your kid find math easy – your goal is to make your kid embrace the challenges and see the fun in exercising their brains.