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How can parents and teachers help learn maths?
There are a lot of math activities for children, but without the help of the support of parents and teachers, it won’t be possible for children to develop mathematical skills at all. Here are a few ways in which the parents and teachers will be able to help make children better at maths.
1. Create some sort of a routine: This is not only to complete homework assignments but for some other activities as well. Help children complete their daily assignment and make it a little easier for them to do so, initially, so that they don’t think of these assignments as a pain. If they find their mathematical assignments easy, they will be able to develop interest in mathematics. Helping with the daily assignments could make children better at math.
2. Make the child do some amount of math everyday: It is important for children to find the right kind of exposure to math, so that they can develop mathematical skills. Unless and until they practice some amount of math on a daily basis, they will not be able to develop the complete ease with which they can practice math. Hence, they should just get some amount of math problems done on a daily basis.
3. Know the child’s curriculum: No matter what one says, school mathematics is a key principle that needs to be mastered by children who want to develop mathematical skills. The above mentioned activities can help children get a base in maths and realize that it is not something to be scared of. However, one needs to conquer school math at various levels as well.
As a parent, it is necessary for you to be aware of the child’s curriculum at school so that you can find out how you can help the child with it’s mathematical problems and how to help hone children’s mathematical skills as well.
4. Communication between teacher and the parent: It is essential for the parent and the teacher to maintain some amount of contact between each other. This way, in case the child is not doing too good in school, the parent will come to know and come up with better methods through which they can make children better at math. The teacher will also be aware of the different teaching styles encouraged at the child’s home and inculcate that within the curriculum if she finds it good enough.
5. Sit down with your children and practice some math yourself: Children learn through example and unless you display some amount of interest in the subject yourself, children will not develop interest in mathematics as well. So just sit down with your child’s math homework or a math puzzle and do some work yourself or just help the child out with it. It will certainly increase their interest and since some of the work would be made easier for them, they would be more inclined to practice some math themselves.
6. Keep up some real life situations:Children often feel a disconnect between what is being taught in school and what they are seeing in real life. They don’t really see anybody buying 60 watermelons to find out what their profit or loss would be, so they might lose interest in it. So, make sure that you are keeping your children rooted to mathematical reality. When you take them out grocery shopping, make them find out how much discount you are getting or how much profit you are making. Make them find out how much gas you would need to put in to travel n amount of miles. Small things like this would keep the challenge up and encourage them.
7. Play mathematical games: There are a lot of games that can help develop mathematical skills in children. This is also a wonderful way to make mathematics fun for children. There is a math version for scrabble, which can be a really fun game. War, Yahtze, Crazy Eights etc. are also good games for this reason.
8. Encourage mathematical participation: There are a lot of things that go around in the house itself, that are stooped in the world of mathematics. Take, for example, the monthly budget or how much money you have to pay as electricity bills. The child, when at a slightly advanced level, can certainly help out with these things. It will give them practical applications of the subject. They can also take part in the calendar activities, cooking, table setting, measuring activities etc.- simple activities that still involve some amount of mathematical involvement.
Don’ts for parents and teachers
Teachers and parents, it is essential for children to develop mathematical skills and it is important for you to encourage math activities among children. But you need to learn where to draw the line. Some children just do not like maths, even when they are good at it and it won’t make any sense for a parent to push them towards doing something they are not interested in, in such a situation.
So, here is a list of things that one has to be careful about when trying to make children better at math:
1. Make sure the child is also interested: No matter how much fun the activities might be, there are sometimes when the child is not interested. If you push them during such times, it will just backfire.
2. Make sure you know the child’s mathematical level: There are some children who are not interested in maths or are a little slow at it. If you push them too hard at this point of time, they will just crack and never turn to this subject again. So make sure that the activities you make the child participate in is directly related to the maths level of the child.
3. Do not overdo it: These activities might be fun, but make sure you don’t overdo it. After all, there are more things the child has to do other than just learn maths- they have other subjects in school as well, so make sure that you don’t put too much on the child’s plate- so much that they won’t be able to handle it.