Mathematics can be a tricky subject for many kids. Some kids even dread the thought of learning math. Fear of math isn’t uncommon among children, but there are ways to help combat fear. As a parent, you can help make learning math a more positive experience for your child. Here are seven tips for teaching mathematics at home!
Kids learn best when they’re having fun
While this tip may seem obvious, there are some parents who forget the importance of incorporating fun into the process of learning. Even math can be fun sometimes! Think about the various creative tools you can use when teaching your child math. For example, you may inject your little one’s favorite cartoon characters into a math problem, and the solution will come more easily than before! Or, if you are teaching your child the concept of addition, you may use some of your child’s favorite toys (such as Legos or colorful blocks) to represent numbers. Kids tend to be more engaged when fun materials are involved, as opposed to traditional paper and pencil.
Start with the basics, like counting
Counting is the foundation of all mathematical concepts. When children reach age two, that is usually a good time to introduce the concept of counting. Start by using small sets of objects. For example, you can show your child different sized cups or spoons, and ask which cup has one spoon inside it, and which one has two.
Incorporate everyday objects
You can use an array of household items as teaching tools when teaching kids about math. Make use of any things you have at home, such as pennies, cups, popsicle sticks, books, and anything else! For example, if you want to teach your child about addition, place two or more pennies on top of each other on a flat surface. Ask your child how many pennies there are. Then, show your child a larger amount of pennies and ask for the total amount again. Repeat this process until children learn how to solve this type of problem independently.
Practice practice practice!
The more opportunities children have to practice new math skills,, the sooner they will be able to master these concepts. As time goes by, you can start to introduce larger numbers and harder equations. Just be sure to give your little one adequate time to process each math problem or concept before moving on to the next level.
Play math games
There are so many board games and card games that can enrich the process of teaching math to kids. Some fun ones include checkers, chess, Monopoly, Uno, Bingo, Super Why! (online game), and even some apps (like Math Evolve.) You can also play games like Chutes and Ladders to help teach children how to count in different increments like twos, fives, and tens.
In addition to math games, there are also other ways to make learning numbers more fun and exciting. You can create a math scavenger hunt with your kids around the house. Hide various items of different values or quantities, and have your child count and collect these. For example, give kids a set of coins to place in a space on their board. This is a great way to teach them how to solve subtraction problems (like “10 – 8 =”)
Read math-themed books together
Reading math books is another great way to help you teach mathematics at home with zero effort! Reading exposes children to a variety of mathematical concepts in a way that can make it easier for them to understand. The best time to do this is when you are teaching your child how to read. You can also buy teaching books at bookstores or borrow them from the library. There are plenty of teaching materials for math, so go ahead and have fun!
Incorporate math into your daily activities
Math is a regular part of our daily lives. Teaching kids some basic math concepts can be made easier when they are able to understand how math shows up all around them every day.
For example, if you’re baking cookies together, show your child how to measure flour using cups and spoons. You can also use grocery shopping together as an opportunity to demonstrate how you use subtraction or division to check the price of items.
Mathematics can be overwhelming for some kids, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips to help you teach mathematics and foster the math wiz in your child!
At Young Scholars Academy, we provide developmental emphasis through hands-on discovery experiences. You can see in each area of curriculum, those areas being; science & sensory, math, and language & literacy.