Many children have trouble with mathematics. Many adults feel daunted by math too, so if you feel lost when your child asks for help with the subject, know that you’re not alone.
Helping your child with math can be difficult at times, especially since the way they learn the subject today differs from the way we learned it when we were children. But even if you are not a math whiz, there are many fun ways you can help your little one improve.
1. Start Early With Numbers
The earlier you start with math, the better. For instance, you can start counting objects to show the correspondence of objects and numbers even when your kid is very small. You can get them to count their toys, cars, trees, fingers, stairs, steps to his bedroom, and so on.
Rhymes like Five Little Speckled Frogs and Ten in the Bed are also an excellent way for younger kids to learn counting both forward and backward.
As your kid becomes older, you can ask questions like What number comes after six? What number is before nine? Can you count from ten back to one? How many would you have if you had another one? How could you split this equally?
The more your kids can see that math is all around them, the more they will be able to relate to it, helping them better understand and apply it every day.
2. Take Advantage of Technology
Modern technology has introduced various clever new skill-building methods and one of them is digital math games. There are many math apps for students of all ages (such as Monster Math, SplashLearn, and The Math Tree) designed to teach different levels of math skills, and some of them even meet Common Core State Standards for mathematics. The best part is that your little ones will have so much fun, they’ll hardly even realize they are learning.
Older kids can rely on online learning platforms for math help. Since 2020, virtual learning platforms have been helping students of all ages to progress with their studies, receive feedback from tutors, providing a way to keep them engaged and excited to learn.
3. Learn Through Play
Cards and dice games are a simple and inexpensive way to introduce your child to maths. Try matching card games like Snap and Go Fish and ordering numbers on playing cards.
Dice games are great for kids to count and recognize number patterns on dice, whereas games with two dice can help with adding numbers (younger kids can count the dots to find the total).
There are also many fun math board games for kids that have been created to help reinforce math concepts and develop a love of math. Games like Sum Swamp, I Sea 10, Prime Climb, and Mobi Math Whale are great for both children who are struggling in math, as well as those who simply love math.
4. Use Money
Using money is a great way to not only teach your child to work with numbers but to also learn about spending and saving – skills that will definitely come in handy in the future.
Younger kids enjoy playing shop. You can use real or play money to buy items from the ‘store’ and teach your little one to count back change. Older kids can be encouraged to pay for goods at the real store, figure out which products are the best buy based on price per ounce, and check whether they’ve been given the correct change.
You should also encourage your little ones to save money. For instance, if they’ve been asking for a special toy or gadget for a long time, assign chores they can do for pocket money and help them work out how long it will take them to save up the required sum.
The tips given in this article are a great starting point when it comes to making mathematics fun, but do remember to stay flexible. If some strategies don’t work with your child, try something else or take a break and try again later. Everyone’s pace for learning is slightly different. Don’t forget that your kid’s school can also do a lot to help, so don’t be hesitant to ask for help or look for a different perspective.