Love is in the air, and at Mathnasium, we're all about spreading the joy of learning, especially when it comes to math! As Valentine's Day approaches, we've found a unique way to intertwine the world of numbers with the season of love.
How many times have you heard the statement, “I don’t really like math”? There really isn’t a certain age group that expresses these feelings; these sentiments are felt from grade school into adulthood. What the child or adult is really saying is, “I don’t really understand math” or “New math concepts are really hard for me to grasp.” You can help change your child’s perspective by implementing these strategies.
Identify prerequisite skills - Children often express a dislike because they did not completely master the prerequisite skills necessary to understand the current one. Work with us here at Mathnasium to determine the prerequisite skills and develop a plan for remediation.
Incorporate games or other computer activities - Children often become bored with the same style of instruction. However, throwing paper and pencil out the window is not the answer. Develop a balanced variety of learning methods to break up the monotony.
Switch roles - Encourage your child to “play school.” Allow your child to play the role of the teacher. Begin by choosing a skill he/she has mastered. Have them teach you the skill in their own words. Being able to reteach a skill to others demonstrates mastery and empowers the student as well.
Incorporate math into daily life - There are many opportunities to use math outside of the normal school day. Take some extra time to include your child in the grocery list planning process. For younger students, encourage counting opportunities while riding in the car. Identify shapes and colors in the environment. Use opportunities to regularly make connections to everyday life.
Connect math to other areas of interest - Use your child’s specific interests to make a connection. If cooking peaks their interests, encourage them to analyze recipes by increasing or decreasing the amount of ingredients based on the size of your family.
We naturally encourage our children to read, write, and speak outside of school. Yet we often leave learning math skills to 45 minutes a day in the classroom. Like everything else, your child’s skills, confidence, and excitement about math will improve with daily practice, support, and encouragement.