Help Your Kids to Learn Math

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Trafalgar Law, Eng, Lynn and 1 other

If you hate math, you probably do not want your kids to feel the same way. This is a parent's challenge.

It is a common feeling, and college students and even working professionals even struggle to do their math problems in relation to their advanced subjects needed to graduate or in relation to their work. Many wonder why they struggle when mathematics is something they have studied in school from elementary school through college. Those years should have been enough for them to master basic operations, and even some fundamental problem-solving skills that they can apply in their line of work.

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Something must have happened along the way. Kids developing a negative attitude, or even hating it, is something that parents must understand to be able to help their kids to learn math. Mastering the skills of math is unquestionably essential for future opportunities in both school and your career. Your kids will need attain a certain level of proficiency or competency in this subject as a prerequisite to various courses in high school and college, and to have a wide variety of career choices. More importantly, competency in math is important, so that they can develop critical and creative thinking that they can use to take advantage of opportunities as doors open.

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The sad truth remains that the number of adults loving math is greatly outnumbered by those who would rather not have to deal with it. Yet it cannot be denied that this is something that the world cannot live without. The best strategy is to make the children get excited about math and to make them appreciate and even love it. There are effective ways to get this done if parents know how they can help their kids to learn math.

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Setting the Stage: Making the Child Feel Comfortable

The earlier you teach your kids mathematics, the better. Young kids have no hang-ups or fears of math yet, so everything can be fun. Start by offering them insights about ways to approach math.

  1. 1
    There are several ways a math problem can be solved.
    There can only be one answer, but there is more than one way to get to the answer.
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  2. 2
    Getting wrong answers is not the end of the world; learn from your mistakes.
    This way, your wrong answers can still be of value to you. Get your child to discover where the error lies. That will teach him more than skills; that teaches him analytical thinking too.
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  3. 3
    Let him explore and take risks.
    That will certainly teach him to be an independent thinker and help develop a never-say-die attitude to both math's and life's problems.
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  4. 4
    They can do math in their heads.
    Mastering math skills can help them develop mental math that can be very practical in real life.
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  5. 5
    Calculators are great tools to solve math problems, if children know how to use them.
    Tools have been designed to make their computations easier, but they need to know which operation to use, and that is something calculators will not teach them.
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Focus on Solid Basic Skills in Math

It all starts with a good base.

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Just like a solidly built house, you need to make your kid's foundation in math solid. Without it, everything that they will attempt in math will be confusing and hard. They are bound to get poor grades from school that can depress them, make them feel anxious and hate the subject and look at everything with math as their obstacle to success. On the contrary, a solid foundation in math can make them enjoy the subjects in and out of school, while developing logical and systematic thinking.

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Here are some ideas to remember when you teach your kids the foundation of math:

  1. 1
    Logic and systematic approach rule.
    Parents can only effectively teach children basic mathematical skills when the kid understands and comprehends the underlying reasoning of a math principle. Experiment with various teaching methods, but consider ones that are simple and easy to understand. Make sure the approach is logical and systematic to train them to follow the steps.
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  2. 2
    Make the teaching-learning experience fun.
    Many kids develop fear of math when the teacher makes learning not only difficult and incomprehensible, but also horrible. Make sure your kid is relaxed and having fun to make the experience something that they will look forward to. Introduce games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee, dominoes and cards, among others.
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  3. 3
    Ensure comprehension.
    There is a math vocabulary they need to know. They can get lost and confused if they cannot comprehend what is being talked about.
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  4. 4
    Teach legible writing of numbers.
    Sloppy writing of numbers can often lead to confusing math computations and solutions. In the school and in the real world, people need to understand numbers to appreciate it.
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  5. 5
    Conduct regular drills to test and strengthen basic math skills.
    For your kids to master math skills, it is critical to practice it every day. There are tools you can use that can make the learning experience fun, so your child will look forward to learning math.
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  6. 6
    Help him to comprehend math word problems.
    Again, use techniques like drawing a picture, diagram or other innovative and fun techniques and tools to make them enjoy the lessons.
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  7. 7
    Master each concept before introducing the next.
    Avoid confusing the child by crowding him with too many concepts to understand all at one time.
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  8. 8
    Review past lessons before doing worksheet examples.
    Going back to the lesson before tackling an assignment helps refresh the math concepts.
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Learn from mistakes and avoid them. Two of the most often-committed mistakes in teaching math are:

  • Getting too focused on a topic while overlooking what may similarly be important math areas. Just like in cooking, you can't achieve a desired taste when the ingredients are not complete.
  • Teaching math concepts without following the right logical sequence. Systematic approach is necessary for children to more easily understand their math lessons.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Don't make your child think that math is daunting. This happens when you say, "I was never good in math," or, "Math was my Waterloo in school," or anything to that effect.
  • Don't get distressed over incorrect answers. Use their wrong answers to get them thinking about the math problem in a logical way. This is more significant than just getting correct answers. This is also a good way to teach kids how to grapple with life challenges.
  • Know your child's learning pace. It is not always good to go too slow. If they are fast learners, you need to teach faster or they get bored.
  • Keep the approach and examples simple. Use examples that they like to get their attention. When teaching a concept, make it uncomplicated. As they begin to understand the concept, try a more complicated application to test their comprehension.
  • Start off by rousing the kid's instinctive curiosity. While on a road trip, ask them, "What time is it?" each time you hit a town, city or landmark. Kids who like cooking can learn about fractions and measurements while learning a simple recipe appropriate for their age.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Lynn, Eng, Trafalgar Law

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