5 Ways to Get Your Children Into Maths
It’s no secret that adults often groan at the prospect of maths, but why raise your children to think the same? It is easy for school mathematics lessons to trigger frustration in your child. This often leads children to switch off and disengage with the subject. Therefore it’s so important for parents to play a part in keeping their children excited by maths.
Professional mathematicians see the subject as fun, challenging and even creative!
Get rid of the maths stigma and get your children into the subject - they’ll reap the rewards for the rest of their life.
1.) Challenges and Rewards
Maths problems are a challenge that takes a lot of effort to solve. This often leads to stress and struggle and eventually, disengagement. The trick is to create an environment for your child where the challenge of maths is embraced! Reward persistence and perseverance, as well as when new concepts are understood and tested. Whether the reward is material, or simply a verbal congratulations and encouragement – all of this will increase your child’s confidence and add to their enthusiasm. When they have rewards to look forward to it makes the hard work worthwhile!
2.) Keep It Relevant!
Sometimes maths lessons can seem abstract and lacking any relevance in everyday life – often leading to the typical student question, “when will I ever need this in the future?”. It can make the subject so much more engaging when you approach it with real-life situations and values. Draw a connection between the maths task at hand and a real-life scenario where it could be applied – the relevancy to future situations adds motivation for them to understand. Get creative or search the internet for example situations and role-plays and help increase your child’s engagement with maths concepts.
3.) Make Time for Maths
In a similar vein to the previous tip, keep your child interested in maths by making maths matter. You as a parent might hate maths, but don’t let your feelings rub off on your children! You’re a role model for your children, so embrace maths yourself and enjoy learning the subject together! Take the time out of your busy schedule to make some time for maths in your life. Whether it’s 30 minutes after school or a couple of hours at the weekend – set a clear time for learning. Also, consider including maths into school holidays - although it’s important for students to relax, it’s also important for them to maintain 2-3 hours of active learning a week to minimise learning loss.
It’s a small ask from you and opens your child up to a bright future in some of the most interesting and best-paid jobs in the world.
4.) Become a Maths Role Model
Maybe in the future, your child will enjoy studying maths on their own, but for now, they need a helping hand to support their learning. Maths is a challenging subject that can sometimes get emotional. Without the support of a parent or teacher, it is easy for children to lose interest and abandon their potential. Just in case their teacher isn’t the role model your child needs – be the maths role model yourself. Show enthusiasm and vigour for maths and soon your child will too!
5.) Why Does It Matter?
Mathematics is undergoing a makeover. There are countless cool mathematicians online who have found engaging ways to present maths concepts in a way that intrigues the population- without repetitive classroom exercises. The most powerful question that any mathematician can ask is ‘why?’ – so don’t refrain from approaching your children with this question. It’s important to embrace their curiosity and intuition, and it will keep them interested in the subject.
The key to getting children interested in maths is to never focus solely on the numbers. These five tips all involve widening the discussion to involve concepts, everyday situations and connections to other subjects. This encourages your children to no longer see maths as maths, but as a social subject that is relevant and valuable to their lives. Why not open up the discussion and involve your family in mathematical problems and challenges and make maths a part of everyday life?