5 Helpful Ways to Instill a Love of Math in Young Children
As the first teacher of your kids, there are several things you have to teach them at a young age. These include self-help skills, writing, and reading, among others.
Introducing the world of math to your kids is also one of your biggest responsibilities as a parent. Since this is a concept that your little ones will have to use and be exposed to for years, you will do well to give them a head-start.
Additionally, instilling in them a love for this subject at an early age will work to their advantage in the long run.
Helping Kids Develop an Interest in Math
Implementing the right strategies for teaching kids mathematics in Dubai at an early age can help you instill in them a lifelong love for this subject.
Since you are dealing with young kids, the key is to teach them in a way that your little ones understand the concepts easily and practice the accompanying skills while seeing these learning experiences as fun and enjoyable.
Below are five tips you can follow for instilling in your children a lifelong love for mathematics:
1. Use numbers and math as often as possible.
Math is everywhere; the earlier your children know this fact, the better. However, this means letting them know about this in ways that will interest them.
Using numbers and math in everyday language lets your little ones know that these concepts are around us. Make it a point to mention numerals as often as possible.
Telling them they need to set four plates on the table or that you are drinking your second glass of water are subtle ways of letting kids know that numbers are part of everyone’s lives.
Count together, too. If you are cooking, have your little ones count the number of ingredients you are preparing. If you are outdoors, point at flowers, fruits, pets, and playground equipment and help your kids come up with the right numbers or quantities.
Once your kids know the concept of numbers and counting, ask open-ended questions. Ask them how many of an item they want; begin with a choice, such as one or two. Later, you can start asking how many they want. You might be surprised with the answers you will get.
You can also start teaching your young kids to compare sizes. This is a mathematical concept that is easy to introduce to children and one that will benefit them greatly, even at a young age.
A simple way of teaching this is to organize fruits by size and asking them if they want to eat the large or small ones. You can also give simple explanations about fractions when slicing up fruits into smaller pieces.
2. Make your teaching positive and personal.
Once you have made mentioning math as often as possible a habit, you will have no difficulty applying this second tip, which is making positive comments about math and pointing out real-life examples of it in action. This strategy can help boost your children’s belief in their skills in this subject.
Keep in mind that children are often more likely to learn and understand a topic if there are direct links between the concept and something they value. As such, capturing their imagination and letting them know how useful math can help build their interest in this subject.
Start by finding ways to relate math to their hobbies and interests. For instance, if you are grocery shopping, ask them if you should get the more expensive brand of juice boxes or one that is more affordable.
You can also start teaching them to compare labels and nutrient content. Have them take a look at different brands of yogurt or pudding and guide them in choosing the best product with the lowest sugar content.
3. Allow them to play math games.
Encouraging your children to play games (and joining them) that incorporate math lets them know that this subject can be fun.
There are many affordable number-focused board and card games you can buy for your kids that will teach them various mathematical concepts. Board games that let players roll the dice and move their pieces help children learn more about counting and numbers.
Simple card games such as Go Fish do the same as well.
Various websites and apps feature numerous math-based games that let your kids have fun and learn at the same time. As such, allow them to use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to play with them now and then.
However, make sure you limit your kids’ screen time since too much computer or gadget use can cause them to develop eye problems.
4. Be honest yet positive about what you say about math.
There are several myths about math that you will do well to talk about with your children before they hear about those from others.
Examples of these myths are that math is hard and boys do better in this subject than girls.
At an early age, explain to your little ones that although some concepts can be difficult to understand, the entire subject is not hard. Moreover, they will always get help when they are having trouble with some lessons.
You also have to instill in your kids the fact that anyone who perseveres and studies diligently can be good in math.
5. Support your kids.
Regardless of how early you started teaching your children math, once they start going to school, they will find certain concepts hard to understand and skills or applications difficult to master. This is why you have to provide them the best help you can give to help them overcome such difficulties.
Help your children do their assignments if they ask you for assistance. Go online if you are not familiar with the concepts or processes that they are currently learning about in school.
Consider enrolling your kids in after-school math tutorial classes so they can get help from a qualified tutor. Under his or her tutelage, your children will understand their lessons better. They will also learn tips that will make it easier for them to comprehend certain concepts and follow operations.
By starting early and being consistent with your teaching and support, you can help your kids develop a love for math, which they will be able to use now and in the future, both academically and in everyday life.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.