Does your child scamper away, hide under the covers, or simply stand frozen whenever you mention the word “math”?
Unfreeze your child’s catatonic heart when it comes to mathematics by trying to find interesting ways to make it more fun. From enjoying simplification problems using the BODMAS rule to thinking that fractions and percentages are cool, there is still hope for making math a pleasing experience for your child.
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Making Math More Manageable
Along with literacy skills, numeracy is also a basic ability that kids must learn. Having the capability to analyze information, reason, and problem-solve is a crucial milestone that will help the child grows into adulthood. While not every child has to become a math wizard, students must learn to be fluent — at least with the basic mathematical operations and concepts.
Math literacy is very important for kids so they can use to arm themselves in the real world. As they progress from their primary school years up until they graduate from university or even beyond, they will find that math is everywhere. From counting how many eggs are in the basket, shopping for clothes, or even during chocolate-making classes, math plays a part in accounting, measurement, and various other aspects of life.
With this in mind, the love of – or at least the appreciation for – numbers and mathematical formulas must be inculcated in the minds of the child. As early as now, children must have a healthy awareness of its implications in daily life.
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Methods to Help Kids Have Fun in Math
Kids in primary school may find the advanced topics in mathematics either too boring or too difficult. Wherever they may be in the spectrum, parents and teachers should not lose hope. Aside from the academic education that they get in school, there are also different ways that can be used to make math a more engaging subject.
Here are some ways that you can help your child have more fun in math:
1. Go online
With kids being glued to their gadget screens most of their waking life, why not use these electronic devices to make math more fun?
Thankfully, there are progressive learning centres that use educational technology to provide knowledge. Kids these days are more computer literate and have an almost natural tendency to grasp new technological skills easily.
With your guidance, you can enrol your child in online math classes. Leverage technology offering home-based math online classes. This will combine their fascination with social media, apps, or online technology with the (hidden) appeal of mathematics.
With a convenient easy-click log-in, your child will learn from an experienced mathematics teacher. Your child can learn from either a one-on-one tutorial session or a batch class in the comforts of your own home.
2. Enrol Your Child in a Learning Centre
Another idea to make math more fun is to let your child try learning math in a venue other than school. Sometimes, a change of environment is all that is required for a child to develop an interest in a subject or topic.
You can let them discover the multi-faceted virtues of mathematics through a non-traditional learning centre. With their customized and dynamic curriculum, your child might be more inclined to learn the intricacies of numeracy. Coupled with the expertise of teachers in specific fields of study and the passion they have in making subjects like mathematics more interesting, your child may develop excellent mathematical skills in no time.
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3. Let Your Child Join Academic Camps
To really give your child a more in-depth experience in the different applications of mathematics, you can also let them try out academic or seasonal camps.
There are learning centres that believe math can be made more enjoyable when it applies out-of-the-box methods to learning the subject. Ordinary mathematical problems can be solved through the extraordinary use of teamwork, analytical skills, and other proficiencies that will hone your child’s math literacy abilities. Each day at camp will expose your child to various activities that will develop their appreciation for mathematics.
4. Get Your Kid into Math Games
Aside from guided learning instructions from seasoned math teachers, you can also supplement your child’s math learning through games.
There is a wealth of online resources that feature mathematical games that tease your child’s brain. Search through the web for reputable sites that provide kid-friendly and age-appropriate math games and activities. You can also search the net or ask for recommendations from friends about board games that inspire mathematical thinking. You can also ask for a list of games that you can do at home from your child’s teacher.
Alternatively, you can also just think up games that you can do while cooking, cleaning, or hanging out at home. For example, while preparing a meal, you can ask your child to measure the ingredients you need or to tell the time.
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5. Take Your Child on a Field Trip
You can also organize a field trip that will involve anything and everything about math.
For example, you can go to a museum featuring world-renowned mathematicians. There, you can learn about each mathematician and their contribution to the world. There are also universities and academic institutions that put up seasonal exhibits or symposiums that are related to math.
It doesn’t have to be a strictly-math venue. You can also check out companies that offer kid-friendly tours into their labs, plants, or production areas. Here, you can show how they use math in their processes or even talk to the tour guide ahead of time if they can factor in the value of mathematics in their activities.
6. Show Your Kid Real-Life Math Applications
Informal settings can still be turned into teachable moments.
When you go out on trips, you can explain to your child how math is used in a variety of everyday things. Planes, for example, uses math in aviation procedures.
You can also use things that are relevant to your child as an example of how math is used. For instance, their favourite pizza is made by carefully measuring ingredients. Their favourite perfume is a result of an exact mathematical and chemical formula. The very gizmos that they play with uses math equations and calculations to come up with apps and games that they are fond of.
Showing your child the purpose of math and how it is directly or indirectly related to how life works can give them a wider understanding of its importance and significance.
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7. Integrate Math into Your Kid’s Hobbies or Interests
You can also take advantage of your child’s interests and hobbies by incorporating math into these activities.
For example, building blocks are said to develop engineering skills aside from spatial skills, cognitive abilities, and problem-solving abilities. Studies also show that kids who play with building blocks display improved mathematical ability.
If your child is interested in art, you can also ask them to draw pictures of shapes or maybe feature different kinds of triangles and planes. Dancing can also use math when counting steps or musical beats.
When you patiently explain and show your child the practical applications of math in daily life, then you have a better chance of convincing them that learning it can help in their own life journey.
Exposing your child to other interesting activities outside of school can also cultivate a deeper appreciation for mathematics. Online math instruction and interaction and math camp activities are just some of the fun and quirky ways to make math more fun.
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With the help of progressive learning centres, passionate and proficient math teachers, and your own dedication to making math more palatable, your child just might have a better shot at math.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centres in Dubai and 5 centres in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.