Math is essential to everyday life, but getting children engaged or comfortable with the subject can take time and effort. In fact, according to a review published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, math anxiety is a big problem for many children. It goes beyond tests and lessons, affecting their daily lives when they grow older and when math is necessary. Getting your kids to be comfortable with math starts from an early age, and it’s the perfect time to explore all sorts of methods and techniques that can pique their curiosity. Here are a few simple ways to improve your child’s comfort with math:
Review lessons regularly
As soon as children start preschool, helping them develop good study habits can prevent them from getting too overwhelmed by their lessons. For math, which requires students to have a solid foundation as they progress, reviewing what your children learn will help them to better understand their lessons. A guide to studying for a math test by Studocu advises students to study every day so they can absorb the material better and enhance their recall ability. Consistent studying helps them master the subject, making it easier for them to learn and apply. You don’t need to refer to their notes or worksheets solely. Rather, you can make reviewing more engaging by employing various strategies like using flashcards, creating fun quiz games, or trying online resources like video tutorials.
Read books with math concepts
Reading books to your children can provide a good foundation for math skills while still being engaging. Math picture books can help improve your child’s math skills and comfort with the subject. Purdue University found that children who read books with math language improved more with the subject than those who read books without math language. Some books provide questions for parents or caregivers to ask their kids, facilitating conversation and encouraging verbal, and mathematical reasoning within the children. You can read books to your child that align with the math concepts they’re currently learning. Books that discuss shapes, counting, measurements, and more can help them engage with the lesson and open up more math discussions at home. Even for non-math-related books, you can point out illustrations and ask them to count objects or identify shapes.
Encourage everyday math use
Your child might be good at math in the classroom or while studying, but they may lack the ability to apply their lessons in their daily lives. Once your child learns a particular concept, you can bring them out and show them how to use it. For instance, you can help them calculate small payments to help them learn addition or subtraction. Baking with them can also help with counting skills as they tackle how many cups it would take to fill a bowl or the number of chocolate chips in the cookie batter. These practical applications help them learn their lessons, and they’re rewarded with a treat at the end!
Learn through play
Children are naturally curious and are always on the quest to understand the “why” of things. Our post on STEM activities notes that preschool kids learn through play and hands-on experience. Doing relevant activities and games with them establishes processes that will help them be better critical thinkers and problem-solvers when they’re older. Simple board games that require dice to move pieces on the board will help them count. You can also build “cities” using different numbers of blocks to make towers of varying sizes. Another suggestion is to organize scavenger hunts for different-shaped objects in the house and group them together. These games are a great way to get your child more comfortable with math without sacrificing fun for both parents and child.
Article written by Reanne Jennings