When it comes learning math and learning in general, there’s never a bad time to make a great choice that positively impacts a child’s learning experience and development. Even more true, is that a student’s improvement (and success) in math depends on both the child and the parents or caregivers.
There are many simple things that kids and parents/caregivers can do every day or week that will help build confidence and improvement in math. We hear from parents all the time that they were ‘not good’ at math so they don’t think they would be much help to their child. We 100% understand these ingrained math anxieties, which is why we’ve shared tips that are so easy and fun for everyone.
Tips for Kids:
- Do your math homework first when you get home. When something is hard, it’s often left to the end or put off totally. Avoid doing this with your math homework as it only makes it harder, especially as you continue to tire after school and into the evening. To get better results in math, do your math homework first, while your brain is fresh.
- Ask at least one question in math class each week. Never be embarrassed to ask a question. It’s always ok to raise your hand and speak up when you do not understand a concept, topic or assignment. Someone else in your class likely has the same question, and your asking will help them too, and encourage them to speak up and ask questions too!
- Always double-check your answers. It’s very surprising how often a wrong answer is the result of a super simple calculation error. Take the time to always double (or triple) check your answers at the end of a math test or before handing in a math assignment.
- Participate in a math competition or join a math club. Math can be more fun & confidence in math can soar when it’s moved from the typical classroom setting to a more social environment with peers.
- Read a book that includes math. Who doesn’t love a good book? There are tons of fun math books out there for any age. We dare you to find one you’ll love!
Tips for Parents & Caregivers:
- Keep a positive attitude about math! This does not mean over-exaggerating your love for math and shouting it from a mountain top. It means avoiding expressing negative feelings and thoughts about math and passing your ingrained math anxieties on to your child. These only fuel your child’s existing math insecurities and further elevate their stress. It’s ok to share with your child if you struggled with math growing up (and maybe still as an adult). This honesty will help normalize your child’s own feelings and help them feel and believe you do get what they are going through.
- Help your child with time management. Helping your child prioritize their tasks so they have ample time for homework and studying removes some stress out of math learning. When kids are overscheduled and always rushed, math grades (and other grades) slip and suffer. Carving out time and honouring it will take some, and there may be some trial and error along the way as your family finds what works best.
- Ask your child one math-related question every day. This is more simple than you think. Here are some ideas to help get you started: Ask about their math class that day. Have them tally up prices at the store or in a flyer. When paying for things with cash, ask them how much change is expected back. When cooking or baking, ask them for help measuring out ingredients.
- Focus on concepts. All too often the focus in math is on the answer and if it’s right or wrong. Instead of asking “What’s the answer?”, ask “what formula do you think you should use” or “how would you solve this?”
- Play fun family games that include math. Monopoly, The Game of Life, Connect Four and chess are just a few examples of games that include math. There are also tons of fun games you can play on the go in the car or on public transit. Playing games together is a great way for your family to connect and support math learning. Double win!
- Take your child to Mathnasium for a no-obligation first visit! If your child needs math support, whether that’s math tutoring or homework help, you can trust in the Mathnasium Method™ to get results. Here at Mathnasium of Newmarket, we know how to teach your child math, we pinpoint your child’s learning needs, meet them where they are, and take them where they need to go, and we will help your child overcome math frustration.
When math makes sense, kids gain confidence and can catch up, stay current or leap ahead.
Contact us today to today to schedule a risk-free assessment or stop by our math learning centre to learn more.