It’s no secret—math is an abstract subject. Because of this, some children find it difficult to understand while others don’t see the point of it in real life. But we all know that math is fundamental in understanding the world we live in.
And mathematical thinking also serves many modern professions, from IT to the marketing industry. So, how can you motivate your child to hone their math skills and ensure that they will be prepared for the career path they want to follow?
1. Make math relatable
Broaden your child’s view of mathematics and show them where and how it comes up in everyday life. For example, you can help them understand how math helps tell time, shop for goods, cook, etc. This will make the experience of learning math fun and engaging. And if you run out of ideas on how to make math relatable, don’t worry—we are here to help.
With our individual tutoring program, you can rest assured knowing that your child is shown the many ways math helps with real-life problem solving through practical exercises and interactive classes. Our approach is extremely useful for children who need math to be presented to them in different ways. By replacing abstract concepts with experiential objects or illustrations, we can help children understand math in a way that makes sense to them.
2. Encourage flexible perspectives
A common problem among both children and adults is math anxiety. Outdated teaching practices have enforced a specific set of rules for solving a problem and getting the correct answer. However, some individuals are more efficient when thinking outside the box, which serves them in more ways than one.
When discouraged from discovering their own ways to solve problems, students become more anxious and afraid of failure, so they will settle for low achievement and become apprehensive.
Show your child different ways to solve a problem and demonstrate how they can produce the same correct result. Again, here’s where individual tutoring is very helpful, as it guides students towards discovering what works best for them.
3. Cultivate persistence
This is the exact opposite of cultivating math anxiety. While math anxiety is cultivated by punishing students for wrong answers and preventing them from discovering different ways of solving a problem, persistence is cultivated by supporting students to try again and try another way.
This takes patience, kindness, and nurturing. Failing to find the correct answers causes frustration anyway, so the key is not to amp up that feeling, but minimize it with encouraging remarks, chances to try again, and clues on how to solve the problem.
Being persistent when learning math is essential since math is a cumulative subject. But this capability goes beyond learning math because students will be able to apply it in other classes and anywhere in life.
4. Practice every day
This ties into two of the previous points: making math relatable and cultivating persistence. You can implement them every day by encouraging your child to apply math outside a learning program.
For example, you can work with your child on your shopping list or go grocery shopping together and ask them to calculate the sum of the items you’re buying. When driving from one location to another, you can ask them to calculate how long it takes to reach your destination based on your speed.
There’s no shortage of such experiences that you can approach as daily exercises for your child. And you can always adapt them to their age and abilities.
5. Set yourself as an example
Children learn from their parents. And even when they grow older, they will find inspiration in the way their parents live. So, have a positive attitude toward learning math to inspire your child to follow suit.
Whether you love math or not, you know how important it is for your child to develop mathematical thinking. If you see math makes them anxious or apprehensive, confidently show them how math helps count money or estimate purchase costs.
When it comes to homework support, go through the problem-solving process alongside your child and direct them toward the correct answer. Even if you haven’t practiced your math skills in a while, you can still show openness to learning new things and teach your child to be more responsive to new information. Remember, if you’re willing to learn maths, so is your child.
6. Make it fun
Everyone loves a good, entertaining mystery. When math challenges are presented using familiar substitutes or real-world correlations, students are likelier to feel stimulated intellectually and react with enthusiasm.
Recreational math problems, such as puzzles, games, or paradoxes, can even feel effortless for most students. And when they do solve the mystery and identify the correct answer, they will feel motivated to continue expanding their knowledge of math.
7. Try individual tutoring
With child motivation in mind, an individual tutor can create an appropriate math learning program that keeps students interested in math and eager to advance to the next level.
Here at OMC, we provide focused support through a challenging math curriculum based on your child’s learning ability. Our tutors will motivate your child to continue learning through interactive activities, personal monitoring, and a positive attitude. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] for more information on how we can help your child elevate their understanding and passion for math.