PARENTS, IT’S TIME TO INSPIRE YOUR CHILD’S LOVE OF MATHEMATICS
February, 2017—Fact: A positive, can-do attitude and a healthy enthusiasm for learning are critical for academic success. Sadly, it’s not rare to hear many a frustrated student lament, “I hate math!”
“Many times, there’s a disconnect between a student’s classroom experiences with math and the full breadth of the subject’s real-world applications,” explained Robyn Steiner, owner of the Mathnasium of Vaughan/Thornhill franchise. “Combine that with prolonged struggles and you’ll often end up with a discouraged, frustrated child.” Fortunately, parents can play an active role in changing their child’s attitude. Here are some tips:
- Show young learners how math enhances their everyday life: Highlight math’s relevance in your child’s world by enlisting their aid with household activities that involve math (for instance, cooking/baking, grocery shopping, and budgeting their allowance). They’ll get to experience and practice math in down-to-earth situations and will start to appreciate its value.
- Merge math learning and family fun: Play math-related games with your child. Develop their spatial recognition and geometry skills—along with their ability to visualise and use units of measurement—through creative craft activities and puzzles like tangrams. Plan a trip to a science museum (preferably one with lots of hands-on activities for kids) and show your child all the awesome inventions and discoveries made possible by math.
- Explore math through art and nature: Math is beautiful! M. C. Escher’s use of tilings and tessellations is a prime example of how math can inspire art. Go on an “art walk” around town with your child, pick out your favourite structures, and talk about what makes them attractive—concepts such as symmetry can come into play when determining an object’s aesthetic value. Additionally, patterns following the Fibonacci sequence can be found throughout nature—it’s in pinecones and flowers … and even in Romanesco broccoli!
- Expand learning through supplementary education: Breathe fresh life into your child’s math education—and help them catch up—by exposing your child to structured math learning environments that fall outside the classroom norm. Find an effective supplementary math program with a strong emphasis on strengthening foundational knowledge and producing measurable results that provides lots of encouragement and specialises in making math fun.
- Model a positive math mindset: Studies have shown that adults can inadvertently pass their own math anxiety on to the children in their lives. Exercise mindfulness when talking about math with your child and make a strong effort to speak of the subject in a positive and encouraging light.
“It’s important to realize that kids don’t actually hate math,” Steiner emphasized. “What they hate are the feelings of frustration and embarrassment that come with years of math struggles. With that in mind, as you engage your child with these activities, keep the mood fun, easy, and low pressure,” Steiner said. “The idea is to inspire curiosity, appreciation, and, eventually, a love for the subject. While math may not become your child’s favourite subject overnight, repeated positive interactions with math can prove exceptionally transformative in the long term and can lead to huge strides in the classroom.”
Mathnasium, the leading math-only learning centre franchise, specializes in teaching kids math in a way that makes sense to them. When math makes sense, kids excel—whether they’re far behind or eager to get ahead. The proprietary Mathnasium Method™ is the result of 40+ years of hands-on instruction and research. Franchising since 2003, Mathnasium has become one of the fastest-growing educational franchises. There are over 700 Mathnasium franchises in North America. For more information, visit www.mathnasium.ca.