Turn your child into a maths magician?

6 Common Maths Myths.
As parents, we may have many wrong beliefs about maths and these influence our attitudes towards the subject. Are we damaging our children's learning by passing these beliefs on?
As parents, we have many beliefs about maths and these influence our attitudes towards maths and how our children do in maths. Our reactions and attitudes influence our children’s actions and belief’s- not only to maths in general but how they see themselves in the world of maths.

How many of our beliefs are actually true- or are we buying in to generations of passed down misconception and myths?

Here are 6 common Math Myths:

1. Maths is a textbook subject:

Maths is a real-life subject, which incorporates every element of our lives. Counting, money, time, and temperature, to name just a few maths subjects, infuse every aspect of our lives. It exists in History, Art, Geography, Literature etc. Our children need to see the relevance of maths in their everyday life, so let’s open our eyes and look at the world from a maths point of view!

  • 2. Math is hard:

    Yes, maths can be hard, especially if you do not practice or know the basics. (StayOnTrack concentrates on our children exceling in the basics by practicing every day for 10 minutes, www.stayontrack.co.nz). Do you instantly know all forms of writing, can you instantly speak another language fluently, and can you go out and run a marathon tomorrow? Of course the answer is NO. This is because all of these topics require practice, and maths is no different.

  • 3. Some people are good at Maths and some people aren’t:

    Some people are good at maths because they spend more time practicing or using maths, maybe in their jobs or in their hobbies, or even at school! Maths learning begins at a young age, when you watch your toddler grouping items and lining them up to count them; everyone has the ability to be good at maths. It all comes down to knowing the basics and practicing. Being surrounded by a positive attitude towards maths, one that builds the child’s own confidence, where mistakes are seen as learning blocks certainly helps.

  • 4. Boys are better at Math than Girls:

    This is totally gender bias and has no factual basis. In many countries, including the UK, maths achievement up to the age of 16 is slightly higher in girls. This is a damaging stereotype as it discourages girls from doing maths and sciences in school. It also applies pressure on boys that they should naturally be great at maths, and so makes them reluctant to ask for help when they need it.

  • 5. Using tools is cheating:

    This myth’s influence is often seen when parents watch their children using their fingers to count, relax! This myth indicates that we’re not supposed to use our fingers or calculators or computers to do math. Since when is using tools to make a task simpler cheating? Everything has a place and time. There is nothing wrong with counting on fingers as an aid to doing arithmetic. This process actually indicates an understanding of arithmetic. A calculator is only as useful as the person driving it- so a person must know how the calculations are made and put into a calculator first, so as to know if the answer given is correct.

  • 6. You don’t need to know the basics:

    If maths is a really tall building, then the basics (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are the foundation. When the foundation is weak then the whole building is weak and in danger of tumbling down. Maths is a step by step subject, when some of the steps are missing it can become very difficult- for example, if you do not know your timetables in maths, then you will struggle to learn fractions because it is all about using timetable and division skills. It is super important that your child know right up to their 12 timetables – so well, that they could answer any question within 3 seconds-plus the accompanying division- BEFORE they reach High School. As a parent one of the most important things you can do is help your children learn the basics and to be confident in their ability.

    The ability to problem-solve in today’s world is a valuable and well-sought after asset. Maths is all about problem-solving.

    Family involvement is critical in nurturing a positive and risk-taking attitude towards maths. Maths is lots of fun and creates a strong sense of achievement. As a parent, it is important to acknowledge the myths that have made an impact on your life and to examine how you may be passing these misconceptions onto your children.

    It is time to put the maths myths we grew up with behind us and let the excitement of maths take over. We need to show the relevance of maths in everyday topics and to show how maths works within the subjects that your child is interested in.
  • StayOnTrack Limited 2014