Maths is not the most attractive subject to children and is often perceived as intimidating. Sometimes, the very sight of numbers and symbols appear abstract and make little sense. Unlike words, story lines and characters, maths does not always spark joy and requires special attention and a particular way of teaching to achieve engagement. Here are 7 ways to sneak more maths into your kid’s life and get them more excited about numbers.
Not only do you get kids active in the kitchen, but you can incorporate maths as well as eat the outcome. Baking is not like throwing veggies in the oven with a good chance of deliciousness, it requires precision and balance. Each ingredient has to be calculated. Too much baking soda can throw off the taste, not enough little sugar can make it taste bland and too much time in the oven will spoil your splendour. Using measuring cups, tablespoons and teaspoons should help set up the basics of quantities and fractions such as quarters, halves and thirds. Kids will also realise how yummy maths can be!
On The Road
If you’re on a road trip or simply driving around, instead of keeping your children occupied with screens, give them some paper and a pen. Ask them to identify and write down how many white, yellow, red, black, green etc. cars that drive by. After the drive, have them tally the number of different colours and work out the percentage of the colours and the probability that on the next drive they will see a certain colour.
Kids love to pretend and if it involves using real money, their ears will prick up. While making dinner, have certain items for sale at the counter with price tags. Give your kids some loose change, and if they’re older use notes, and pretend to purchase items. Let them operate the cash register and work out change.
Include It As Extra-curricular
If maths was never your strong suit and you don’t feel comfortable teaching it, you can always outsource it to professionals who specialise in education. For example, Mathnasium steers away from memorisation and repetitive exercises and emphasises teaching maths in an approachable and easy to understand way. If a child has lost confidence in maths, evidence has found that it can percolate into other areas of their life. Therefore, rebuilding confidence is vital in encouraging kids to choose maths as a subject, but also to feel empowered generally. After all, there is nothing more satisfying than solving an equation that only has one correct answer. There’s no ambiguity when it comes to maths.
Depending on each child’s ability, maths is tailored in a way that puts focus on teaching it using either tactile, verbal, visual or written communication methods. This also takes the pressure off kids who feel they need to pretend they understand in the classroom.
With Christmas around the corner, teach kids the concept of surface area while wrapping gifts. For example, laying out some presents and determining how much wrapping paper you’ll need to wrap each gift. This will also help prevent against wasting too much paper due to guess work.
Let your little ones learn early with encouraging them to help build furniture. Using instructions and guidance, kids can learn spatial awareness, measurement and following instructions. This is a life skill that will certainly benefit them in their older age.