How to encourage a love of math
I liked math in school. It came easy to me. I was the student that helped others sitting around me once I finished the day’s lesson. As a parent now, it becomes very frustrating when my sixth grader doesn’t get it. We go over the directions, I draw him pictures, we use flash cards and play the silly games the teachers send home to reinforce the concepts. It eventually clicks for him but it becomes a process that he doesn’t always enjoy. I want him to be good at math and like it. Four years of higher level math in high school is essential for many of the high paying careers of the future. Computer science, engineering, medicine and science all require excellent math skills and a solid math background.
Of course, my son is not alone when it comes to struggling in math or to disliking it. Many children fear math. Many adults too, celebrating the day they no longer had to attend a math class.
But math is important, so what can we do as parents for a child that hates math or feels they can not succeed in math.
First, if you don’t like math keep it to yourself. You are your child’s first teacher and role model. If you demonstrate to your child that you value math, he or she will put more effort into it.
Second, don’t say math is a difficult subject. Speak about the usefulness of math. Show your child how you use it everyday.
Third, investigate with your child careers that require math. Explain to your child that you want them to have every opportunity open to them after high school. Taking a limited amount of math limits college choices and career choices.
Fourth, show your child that math is all around them and that you use it everyday; from picking which gas station to fill up at, which groceries to buy, paying the bills and tipping at a restaurant. With out basic math skills everyday can be a struggle.
Finally, show interest in their math homework, math questions and math tests. Make doing math together a regular routine. Create competitive games to sharpen their skills and make it fun.
Encouraging a love of math does not have to be another thing to add to your to do list. Talk it up, show interest and demonstrate the usefulness of math and your child will be on the road to a successful future!