Helpful Tips to Inspire Your Kids to Love Math
Is your child resistant to math lessons? Do they want to run and hide when math homework comes out, or do they put their head on their desk when class starts?
Math is a subject that requires a lot of practice and repetition. While some kids have a natural knack for numbers, math doesn’t come easily for many.
The good news is that there are many different ways to inspire your kids to love math—and we will show you how!
When a child has been staring at page after page of math problems, it can be hard for them to imagine ever having fun with math. So, shake up their routine and show them how to explore math! Thankfully, more games are available than ever that help kids play with math concepts. Try some of these game ideas:
With so many math games available for computers, tablets, and smartphones, you’re sure to find one that your child will love. Here are some of our favorites:
- Toon Math – Characters dodge obstacles while they run. They must solve math problems to keep playing.
- Math Doodles – Math Doodles is a great game for older students that makes fractions, algebra, and geometry fun.
- Star Dash Studios – This fun game is designed for reluctant learners! Characters work on a movie set and must solve on-set problems using math. Not only does this game make learning enjoyable, but kids also experience real-life math applications.
Computer games are fun and educational, but don’t discount the power of old-fashioned board and card games.
Card games like Uno can help young math learners recognize numbers and aid other skills that support math, like attention and fluid recall, while more advanced board games like Monopoly will get them counting and making change.
Dig deep into your game closet, and you might find old favorites like Guess Who or Clue. While they don’t teach addition or subtraction, they teach deductive reasoning skills that help solve math problems.
Above all, when you spend time playing math games with your child, you are not only teaching them valuable math skills. You’re also connecting with your child and having fun. This time will help them associate math and problem-solving with enjoyment and possibly overcome their reluctance to learn math.
Encourage a Growth Mindset
Have you ever heard someone say they’re “not a math person”? Maybe you’ve even said that yourself! When it comes to math, there is a very pervasive myth that you either “get” math or you don’t. But the truth is that nearly everybody can get better at math.
People exhibit a fixed mindset when thinking rigidly about their learning potential. Fortunately, with these tips, you can inspire your kids to love math.
- Consider your own language. Sometimes a child inherits their parent’s belief that they are “bad at math.” If you struggled with math growing up, be mindful of language that may feed your child’s belief that math is difficult or boring.
- Praise effort, not results. When only the correct answers are praised, a child who works hard but struggles at math may feel discouraged. Instead, acknowledge your child when they spend time on a problem, even if the answer is incorrect. Praising their efforts will build the resilience and grit they need to keep trying as math problems get harder and harder. This approach will also open them to accepting your feedback to correct their work.
- Remind your child of their accomplishments. When your child struggles with math, they may feel like giving up. Remind them of times when they repeatedly practiced a skill until achieving success, such as riding a bike or learning to read.
When your child feels discouraged, teaching them math is more challenging. Turning their mindset around is essential for building the confidence to approach challenges with a can-do attitude.
Try Different Approaches
Math is problem-solving, and there are different ways to solve problems. When a textbook strategy doesn’t resonate with your child, exploring a different route to solve a problem may help the concepts make sense. Then, you and your child can revisit the method their teacher would like them to use.
As an illustration, let’s look at subtraction. Children may be instructed in the standard method of borrowing a digit to solve subtraction problems. Although this is the most common method, an alternative approach may be simpler for your child to understand. The Partial Differences method may also be used to solve complex subtraction.
By presenting multiple methods to a struggling student, you can help them understand the concepts better from various perspectives and find the approach that makes the most sense for them.
Seek Out Additional Support
If your child is struggling, don’t wait until their grades fall behind to seek help. Best In Class’s caring and experienced teachers can help your child gain a solid understanding of the material while you work with them at home to inspire a love of math. Find a center near you today to see how we can get your child on the right track!