Turn your child into a maths magician?

Lets Get Positive About Maths!
Many parents I talk to hated maths as a child, and avoid it as an adult. BUT want their children to be good at maths, because of all the successful flow-on effects. How do you help your child love maths when you feel negative about it?
The wonderful thing about parenting is the environment we can create around our children. If we, as parents are excited about learning new things in math, then our children are likely to be inspired as well.

Parents are a child’s first teacher, you hear that often enough but what does that mean? It means that most of the math experiences that a child brings to school start in the home environment; for example: cooking, (measurement, fractions) matching items, learning opposites, (big, small, long, short) and counting (backwards and forwards). These early math experiences influence a child’s attitude towards math, and in turn build an important foundation for future success.

What can you do to install a positive attitude towards math?

  • Lead by example: We do math ALL the time-but usually in our heads-this sounds crazy but start talking out loud. Let your children see the relevance of math in everyday life. Do maths in front of and with your children, for example; when you are working out the bills, cooking, organising the grocery list or planning an event like a family trip.

  • Talk to your children: help your children understand why math is an important and exciting part of their education. Explore together the things your child loves doing and how math applies to it, for example: playing the X-box or PlayStation (points system, health, buying at the X-box/PlayStation shop), playing a sport (how many points are needed to win- how many runs or tries do they need?) etc

  • Natural Exposure: Fun educational activities, StayOnTrack Funsheets ( www.stayontrack.co.nz for a FREE 5 day trial), going to the museum, aquariums or the zoo: counting, find the numbers game, how much does it cost, if we all buy lunch-how much would we need? How many litres of petro; do we need to get there? See StayOnTracks previous wisdom on natural exposure for ideas about how to show that maths is fun and relevant

  • StayOnTrack worksheets: these worksheets involve fun problems for children to solve and all directly link to the Numeracy Program used in schools. The 10 minute worksheets concentrate on building a strong foundation in basic facts and have fun exploring the different strategies you can use to solve a problem. Go to www.stayontrack.co.nz to sign up for a FREE trial. These worksheets are emailed directly to you daily so no hassle, no fuss.

  • Maths Games and Songs: learn fun math games and songs to help remember the facts: there are lots of fun math songs that can be accessed on Youtube.

  • Be Lavish in your Praise: giving praise is a great way to let your child know they are doing well and to help keep them enthused. See StayOnTracks previous wisdom on praise for ideas and advice.

    These examples show children that math is not an isolated subject, that math is everywhere. Children really ‘get’ math when they see it applied in real life situations that they care about and find inspiring. They then see math as a skill they need and want. Practicing these examples with your children show that you find maths important and exciting- that you are not afraid to explore-after all what is the worse that can happen? - you might get it wrong- so what? Then you find another fun strategy until you get it right! Stay positive!
  • StayOnTrack Limited 2014