8 Secrets to increase your child’s interest in Mathematics

Swati Saini

Swati Saini, Vega Schools

8 Secrets to increase your child’s interest in Mathematics

The study found that 36% of young (15-24 year-olds) people feel anxious about maths, and some studies suggest that maths anxiety can begin very early when young children are learning basic number skills.

THINGS NOT TO DO

Negative parental and peer pressure

I believe, one of the common reasons why kids are scared of Mathematics is because of parental and peer pressure which they are not able to handle. Sometimes, when anxious parents try to help their children with their revision or home assignments, they unintentionally convey the idea that math is difficult and anxiety-provoking.

Wrong practices

I remember my school time, many of my classmates felt sleepy as soon as they opened the mathematics book and they just gave up saying that they can’t do it anymore. As I reflect, I can see why some practices that became part of the mathematics classroom and caused great anxiety in many students. Some were imposed authority, time deadlines, etc.

Only one right answer

Maths is typically taught as a subject with only right and wrong answers. The system used to expect a fixed answer from the class and sometimes this rigidity is so high that we (students) have no freedom to express ourselves in our own way. This leads to the rote method of learning.

THINGS TO DO

Right home environment

I was blessed to have a good home environment that never encouraged rote learning. That gave me an opportunity to explore various dimensions. I believe that a very important factor in motivating children to study math is that the coach stays positive and enthusiastic about math.

Tests not the final goal

There is no doubt that tests are important to evaluate learning but they should not be the end goal. Some of the best schools in Gurgaon are working towards a true goal of mathematics that should be to prepare students to face real-life problems with maths as a tool. Learning maths is almost like learning music or art. The basic facts of maths never change, however, the way we solve math problems presents tons of variations!

Practical Maths

Talking about maths is also important and every bit of math conversation helps. The best schools in Gurgaon are adopting many ways to incorporate math learning into everyday routines. Children enjoy exploring and experimenting. To develop numeracy skills in-depth, students should be engaged in exploring, conjecturing, and thinking. Throughout the early years of life, children can observe and explore the mathematical dimensions of their world. They are involved in comparing quantities, finding patterns, navigating in space, and grappling with real problems such as balancing a tall block building or sharing a bowl of crackers fairly with their friends, preparing food, and figuring out distance, time and cost for travel.

I must say that Project-based learning (PBL) is a great way to help learners deepen their conceptual knowledge of key mathematical concepts. Some of the best schools in Gurgaon are following this pedagogy. Studies have shown learners learn best when they are active rather than passive learners. The PBL process combines the application of mathematics content with 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. The peer learning strategy is more helpful to the students as sometimes it helps them understand the subject better than doing everything alone. In the PBL teaching method, there is a triangle comprising of the teacher, learner and parent. For the success of education, the role of each is important to eliminate maths phobia from learners.

Everyone is capable of learning but this capability depends upon the variety of ways maths is presented, for example, through games, visual aids, hands-on activities and technology.

Changing the way of understanding maths may change the attitude towards it. Instead of cramming, the learner should set aside time each day to study and do practice problems. Repeated practice will always help an individual to solve things when stressed in the testing environment and to focus on the concepts that are more difficult to master.

In addition, research says that parents' perception of mathematics influences their children’s perception and achievement in this area. As adults we never sit down and try to read a whole book all at once, so why would we try to do that with math? We need to break this chain.

One of the easiest ways to reduce math phobia is that parents should be more involved in their child’s education. We adults naturally encourage our children to play, read, write and speak. Let's all encourage positive talk not only for math but for everything we come across and it can make a difference and even get our young minds excited about learning. Like everything, we can improve ourselves with daily practice, support, and encouragement.

For more information on the above subject, write to us at info@vega.edu.in.
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