Mathematics includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), structure (algebra), space (geometry), and change (analysis). It has no generally accepted definition.
Math is a subject that is not only applicable in our academics but also in real life. Making kids love this subject is a challenge, especially for parents. It takes a lot of brainpower to master Maths and this can be tough for kids.
Teaching math to your children is as easy as 1+1=2. Go beyond pencil and paper to make math a learning experience that’s fun for you and your kids.
Young kids often struggle to grasp the core concepts of mathematics which can make it difficult to be successful at higher levels of mathematics education. In some cases, the failure to master basic concepts in math early on can discourage students from pursuing more advanced math courses later on. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a variety of methods young students and their parents can utilize to help the young mathematicians better understand math concepts. Understanding rather than memorizing math solutions, practicing them repetitively, and getting a personal tutor are just some of the ways that young learners can improve their math skills.
Here are some quick steps to help your kids to get better at solving mathematic equations and understanding core concepts. Regardless of age, the tips here will help students learn and understand math fundamentals from primary school right on through to university math.
These quick and easy strategies help you teach your kids math and will turn them into mini mathematicians.
Important things to keep in mind
Understand Rather Than Memorize Math
All too often, kids will try to memorize a procedure or sequence of steps instead of looking to understand why certain steps are required in a procedure. For this reason, it’s important for teachers to explain to their students the why behind math concepts, and not just the how.
Take the algorithm for long division, which rarely makes sense unless a concrete method of explanation is fully understood first.
Math Is Not a Spectator Sport, Get Active
Unlike some subjects, math won’t let students be a passive learners — math is the subject that will often put them out of their comfort zones, but this is all part of the learning process as students learn to draw connections between the many concepts in math.
Actively engaging students’ memory of other concepts while working on more complicated concepts will help them better understand how this connectivity benefits the math world in general, allowing for seamless integration of a number of variables to formulating functioning equations.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Math is a language all its own, meant to express the relationships between the interplay of numbers. And like learning a new language, learning mathematics requires new students to practice each concept individually.
Some concepts may require more practice and some require far less, but teachers will want to ensure that each student practices the concept until he or she individually attain fluency in that particular math skill.
Again, like learning a new language, understanding math is a slow-moving process for some people. Encouraging students to embrace those “A-ha!” moments will help inspire excitement and energy for learning the language of mathematics.
Work Additional Exercises
Working additional exercises challenges students to understand and utilize the core concepts of mathematics.
Think of math the way one thinks about a musical instrument. Most young musicians don’t just sit down and expertly play an instrument; they take lessons, practice, practice some more and although they move on from particular skills, they still take time to review and go beyond what is asked for by their instructor or teacher.
Similarly, young mathematicians should practice going above and beyond simply practicing with the class or with homework, but also through individual work with worksheets dedicated to core concepts.
Some people like to work alone. But when it comes to solving problems, it often helps some students to have a work buddy. Sometimes a work buddy can help clarify a concept for another student by looking at it and explaining it differently.
Teachers and parents should organize a study group or work in pairs or triads if their students or kids are struggling to grasp the concepts on their own. In adult life, professionals often work through problems with others, and math doesn’t have to be any different!
Explain and Question
Another great way to help students grasp core mathematics concepts better is to get them to explain how the concept works and how to solve problems using that concept to other students.
This way, individual students can explain and question one another on these basic concepts, and if one student doesn’t quite understand, the other can present the lesson through a different, closer perspective.
Explaining and questioning the world is one of the fundamental ways humans learn and grow as individual thinkers and indeed mathematicians. Allowing students this freedom will commit these concepts to long-term memory, ingraining their significance in the young students’ minds long after they leave elementary school.
Phone a Friend… or Tutor
Kids should be encouraged to seek help when it’s appropriate instead of getting stuck and frustrated on a challenge problem or concept. Sometimes students only need a bit of extra clarification for an assignment, so it’s important for them to speak up when they don’t understand.
Whether the student has a good friend who’s skilled in math or his or her parent needs to hire a tutor, recognizing the point at which a young student needs help then getting it is critical for that child’s success as a math student.
Most people need help some of the time, but if students let that need go too long, they’ll discover that the math will only become more frustrating. Teachers and parents shouldn’t allow that frustration to deter their students from reaching their full potential by reaching out and having a friend or tutor walk them through the concept at a pace they can follow.
Apart from the above-mentioned tips, keep in mind the following points which not only improve but boost your kid’s math skills.
- Make sure he/she understands the concept, or he’s facing the daunting challenge of memorizing meaningless rules and drills.
- Teach them to write clearly and neatly. Tracing letters or writing on graph paper will improve her number writing.
- Be around to refresh his/her memory or explain forgotten concepts.
- Review math vocabulary to ensure she can define the skills she’s learning.
- Check to make sure your child is approaching her homework properly. They should study the textbook and practice the sample problem before starting the assignment.
- Approach word problems together. Suggest that they read aloud, repeat, and draw a picture of each problem.
- Explain how math applies to real-life situations and challenge them to help you solve the math problems you encounter when you’re out together, such as figuring out how many apples to buy or calculating change. They’ll be more interested in mastering math if they realize its value.
Review math vocabulary to ensure he/she can define the skills he/she’s learning. Promote putting down the calculator. Computing math problems in his head will reinforce concepts more quickly. Also, Check to make sure your child is approaching her homework properly.