By Jon Goga, maths tutor and founder of BrainySpinach Math
When a child struggles with mathematics, it can be hard to catch up. If they lack confidence in the subject and don’t want to do anything maths-related, that’s likely ‘Maths Anxiety’ setting in. The sooner we can help our children overcome this obstacle, the easier their academic lives will be.
Having Maths Anxiety does not mean that your child is bad at maths; it just means they aren’t being taught using the learning style that fits them.
So why not make maths fun? It’s the universal learning language for all kids, and it’s not used as often as it should be. Use this technique well and you’ll soon find that their maths worries are a thing of the past!
Here are some simple and effective ways you can help your child learn to enjoy and even love maths:
It’s not about getting the right answer
Applaud learning and effort instead. Put emphasis on the effort it took them to get to where they are. Praise them for not giving up, for trying a new method, and for their interest in maths. They need to understand that it’s not about getting the answer right, it’s understanding the logic behind the problem. This is how they develop a growth mindset.
If they say “it’s hard”, tell them that it just means that their brain is working. Hard work is tough! Instead, we should help them to look at it in a fun way, suggest ways they can work out the problem, this helps to get their brain working hard and results in the brain expanding to fit in the new concept.
Play online maths games
Speaking of making maths fun, this is a fantastic way to get them enjoying maths. Video games often get a bad reputation but, in recent years, a lot’s changed. The age of ‘edutainment’ has come – the combination of education and entertainment. Your child can gleefully play through games whilst learning and practicing their Math problems.
A great example of this is BrainySpinach Math; they teach kids aged 7-11 maths through fun and innovative free Roblox games so that they no longer fear maths and are prepared for STEM vocations. Talk about meeting them where they are already having fun, right?
Not only do they also offer live edutainment courses with the game creator that combine Roblox with maths, but they also do free Livestreams throughout the week over on their YouTube channel, which aren’t to be missed if you want your child laughing hysterically while doing their times tables and other maths.
When your child gets a maths problem wrong, harsh approaches such as using criticism and shame don’t work and will negatively impact a child’s wellbeing. Instead of criticizing, you can make them understand that it is OK to make mistakes. Rather than focusing only on the wrong answer, shift to the logic of the problem and help them to understand by explaining as simply as possible but with as little help as possible to help them solve the problem. Patience is key.
Blend maths with art
Maths art projects let kids be creative while also teaching them mathematical concepts. There are many art activities that incorporate maths. We can see it in artistic crafts such as music, dance, painting, architecture, pottery and so many others.
These activities engage your child’s creativity and make learning a joy! There are activities out there for children of all ages and skill levels. The best part about all these maths art projects is that they get “maths kids” thinking about art and “art kids” thinking about maths! It’s a win-win for all sides.
FOSTER A LOVE FOR MATHS, NOT HATRED
Try not to badmouth maths. Some parents hated it in school and are prone to saying that, often to sympathise with their child. However, we shouldn’t talk about how much we hated maths or how difficult it can be around our kids. Let’s talk about how much fun maths can be, link it to real-life situations, and make it more exciting for them.
For example, cooking and baking are great ways to show your kids how maths applies to life outside of the classroom. Reading recipes, discussing fractions and talking about how to double or half a recipe.
To get your child to love maths, you must change the way they see it. Let them know it can be fun, exciting, and even adventurous. Not every child is born a maths genius that can calculate crazy problems in their head. It’s all about each child building confidence in their own ability to learn!
ABOUT BRAINYSPINACH MATH
Jon Goga is a math tutor and founder of BrainySpinach Math, on a mission to help inspire children everywhere to catch up with their learning today so they succeed tomorrow. BrainySpinach Math creates fun and exciting online games on the Roblox platform for children to play that teach them essential math skills, all while inspiring them to learn by playing games they love – and allowing parents to ensure their child’s screentime is always productive. BrainySpinach Math is also the creator of the Roblox Math Camp – a course that has children learning math while playing said tutor-created Roblox Math games. https://brainyspinach.com/
Tutorful (UK only): https://bit.ly/3FJzp3B
This article was originally featured by Family Friendly Working on June 16th, 2022 and can be viewed here.