How to Help Your Child Excel in Math Class

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How to Help Your Child Excel in Math Class

May 3, 2017

Written by: @GabDiesendorf

Motivation has always been a tricky matter. Everybody needs it but we don’t really know where it comes from and how to find it. However, we are constantly trying to think of new ways to motivate ourselves and our loved ones. What’s particularly difficult is motivating children. The main topic is usually school and the main problematic subject somehow always turns out to be math. When trying to motivate your child you need to do it properly, as this may be the model for your child’s motivation in the future. The pressure is high, but luckily there are things you can do and we are here to help you learn how.

Teach failure

Learning mathematics takes discipline, patience, persistence and, most importantly, awareness of failure. Math is where we fail the most during our learning process. However, knowing what not to do is one of the most common and efficient ways to learn, and it’s quite important in mathematics. Cedric Villani, a great mathematician and a winner of the famous Fields Medal, once said that every day is a failure. This is a very important lesson for everyone learning math, as it’s one of the main reasons kids quit. Nobody likes to fail and it’s easier to just give up. Well, this is the breaking point where your child needs to know that failures are simply methods of learning, obstacles that can be overcome.

Make it fun

Another reason why children may lack the motivation for learning math is boredom. This may sound ironic to anyone who loves math, as this subject is all about playing games. Any math task can be considered a game. You have the start, you know your goal and there are rules you need to follow in order to achieve that goal. If you explain it to your child this way, they might change their mind about learning this subject. Not to mention there are actual math games available starting from the more traditional ones such as Sudoku and Kakuro, to PC adaptations and various games that involve using and learning the basic principles of math.

Math is all around

What you kid may find interesting is the fact that math is all around us. Show your child some practical examples of using math in a store, while cooking, sewing, or building and soon they will realize the importance of the subject, and it will probably make them become more interested in it because of its wide applications in real life.

Consequences

Talk with your child about what they want to be when they grow up and explain how they cannot do that without mathematics. Scaring them should not be your primary goal, but try to sit and talk to them honestly about how important math is for their future. Sometimes children appreciate being treated like adults and they might value your approach and agree with you. Furthermore, be sure to give adequate examples so you child understands what you are saying and doesn’t just agree with you because you are their parent.

Empathy and help

Another strategy that might work is empathy. Tell your child about your own struggles with math in the past. We all had them at some point. Try to help your child see that this is a normal part of the learning process and they shouldn’t feel stupid when they can’t find a solution. You should offer your help, but if you don’t feel like you’re up for it or you don’t have enough time, there are many options for quality after school tutoring you can look into.

Set an example

Finally, in order for your child to start enjoying math, they need to know you like it too. Children learn by following examples of their role models and every child’s idols during a big part of their childhood are their parents. Use this to your advantage by setting some good examples for your child to follow.

Children look at things from a different point of view than we do, and it may be difficult to teach them appreciation for something they cannot fully understand. The more illustrative and fun we are during our attempts, the more successful those attempts will be.

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