Math is one subject that your child will have to deal with throughout her learning years, whether she likes it or not! There is no escaping it unless she is in a school that allows her to pick her own subjects after a point. Either way, most schools will include math as a compulsory subject at least in the first 4 years of schooling.
Most of us have had a rough time with this subject when we were young, and you might have seen your child struggling too! This might have led you to believe that acing in math is an inborn skill. But think again! With some effort, the right strategies and lots of fun, your child might be able to do a little more than just surviving math! Voila!
7 Tips That Will Help Your Child Survive Math
When regular classes, coaching classes, and constant revision don’t seem to pay off, then you have no option but to look for some out-of-the-box ways to help your child succeed in math. Stick to these seven key pointers to ensure that your child gets through the subject with some ease.
1. Clear the Concepts
Remember this general rule of thumb – if your child does not get the basics, no amount of effort is going to make math easy for her. Before diving deep into complex problems, ensure that your child knows and understands the basics of math. Don’t force your child to solve what is hard for her to understand. Instead, encourage her to ask questions and get her doubts cleared. Once you break down the concept for her, she’ll find her way through the problem. That’s another thing to keep in mind – get her to ask questions and make sure you don’t leave any unanswered!
2. Make It Fun
Math can be boring, especially for a child who is barely crawling through the subject. If you want her to succeed, you have to make it fun for her. Make use of puzzles and board games and introduce fun math angles to them. Complicated concepts like density, volume and weight can be simplified during bath time. When it comes to homework, simple rewards can turn out to be grand motivators. Give your child something she likes for every answer she gets right, and soon enough, not only will you see progress in her performance, but you’ll notice her taking more of an interest in the subject.
3. Use Real-World Examples
Math is all around you; you need only bring it to your child’s attention. When your child is off books and homework, introduce math to her in unexpected ways. For example, while shopping, challenge her to tally the total before the cashier does, or ask her to calculate the total bill at the restaurant, and subtract that from the amount paid, to figure out how much change should be received. In the case of older children struggling with geometry and algebra; you can give your child the distance between two areas, and ask her to calculate the total time needed to travel that distance. Of course, you’ll have to do some groundwork to come up with real-world examples.
4. Find a Math Buddy
If your child is struggling with math despite your best efforts, then you should consider setting her up with a friend who is more inclined to do well in Math. The idea is not to compare the two, but to give your child a buddy that can help her learn. Your child might not always like to seek help from the teacher, for various reasons, but it’s easier to approach a friend when she feels like her doubts are “silly”.
5. Lean on Technology for Revision
When your child has had enough of books, and endless amounts of homework don’t seem to make a difference to her grades, then let technology slip in. Numerous apps like Meritnation and BYJU’s are available online, that are specially designed to help kids understand maths and various other subjects. There are a few sites that set up mock tests, where your child can go and solve problems and get instant results with solutions. Also, technology will make it a lot easier for your child to understand graphs, charts, pie diagrams and other calculations. Sign up to these apps and let your child brush up on her mathematical skills via technology.
6. Stay Updated
Math will become a lot easier for your child once you become her second teacher. But for that, you’ll have to brush up on your own math skills first. It’s essential to stay updated and know the academic standards that your child is expected to meet in every grade. Only when you know the subject in and out, will you be able to help her with concepts that she doesn’t understand. The best way to keep yourself updated is by running through your child’s syllabus at the very beginning of the year and familiarising yourself with it. If you’re having a hard time understanding it, turn to YouTube or someone in your close circle who is actually good at math. This way, you’ll be ready with the solutions even before your child comes to you with a problem.
7. Encourage, Don’t Overdo it!
Problem-solving is an essential life skill, something that your child will have to do even after she is done stressing over math grades. So even when you’re helping your child, make sure you don’t spoon-feed her. Assist her wherever required, but let her find her way through the subject. There will be times when she will make mistakes. Let her! This way, she’ll learn from her mistakes and remember them the next time a similar problem comes up.
So there you have it – some tips to help make math easier for your child. Remember, every child’s mind works differently, and no two children can be good at the same thing. Don’t force the subject on your child if she is resisting it. Help her understand that in order to get through school, math is essential, and lovingly guide her through it. After all, parenting means standing by your kids through both, successes and failures!