Math: Can anyone do it well?
Can anyone do math well?
"I am just not a math person". We hear this so very often. But does being a math person matter in being good at math?
Research from Angela Duckworth and Carol Dweck has shown that what mattered more than ability was effort, grit and a growth mindset to believe that you can improve in your math!
Learning math is similar to learning a foreign language, or anything at all. It is difficult at first, and then it becomes easier and easier. To be frustrated in the beginning is a natural part of the learning process, so encourage your child to not give up - everyone can do it!
Here are some tips to help your child learn and enjoy Math:
1. Use interactive Math games for a memorable learning experience
For kids aged 7 and above, Sushi Go is a great game to learn the concepts of addition and multiplication, and fun for adults too! For a fun twist in learning multiplication tables and divisions (which is sometimes just painful), check out Melon Warriors - Divide and Conquer Card game, where the goal is to collect the most Melon Warriors to win the game.
2. Enhance problem-solving skills through puzzles
You can improve your child’s logic and deduction skills with simple classic strategy games. Chess, Go, and Mastermind are some great games to start with!
3. Make math applicable and relevant in real life
Oftentimes, kids are just so bored with the same old assessment books and problem sums. Who can blame them? Who cares how many beads Alice has, if she has thrice as many beads as Peter, but Peter has 20 less beads than James?
Highlight how math is applied in real life, for example in splitting bills, savings from buying set meals, symmetry in art. These examples would help kids understand the importance of learning it well, and help kids visualize the uses of math better.
4. Engaging all senses while learning Math
Who says Math can only be visual or abstract? Engage your child’s sense of touch by using manipulative, to grasp concepts more easily. Build your own abacus with your child, to learn counting. Link Math to patterns in music – for example in reading the musical notes, and patterns in rhythms!
5. Check which pre-knowledge you need to learn a new lesson.
Math is difficult for many because it requires that previous rules be learned and remembered in order to learn new ones – leading to a snowball effect. Therefore, if you find that some foundations may be weaker, go back and learn them well!
6. Practice enough to strengthen your kid’s fundamentals ...
As with any skill, whether it's a musical instrument, or sports, practice is needed. Math is similar – by being exposed to do many different types of tasks involving logic, you will strengthen your logical and critical thinking. When you manage to develop critical thinking you will easily solve math problems that you have not previously practiced.
· Persistence is the key to mastering math. Encourage your child when they feel frustrated and impatient. Frustration is part of the process of learning - so do not give up just because it was difficult to understand a rule, push through it to understand it!
· If you have found a "hole" in the previous knowledge, take some time to strengthen the basic concepts before moving on!