Is your child struggling with math? Do you want to know how to teach math effectively to your kids? Read on to learn about highly efficient and proven strategies for teaching math to your kids that will ensure their success in math.
Many children have trouble with math and it is a common problem. Math is unlike any other subject. Math cannot be memorized and it has just one unique solution. To reach the solution, your child must be able to think analytically and take steps based on logic and reason. Solving math requires a completely different skillset and this is one of the reasons why children struggle with math .
When children start having problems with math, the parents start to get worried as well. Sometimes, the parents get frustrated when the child is not able to understand certain concepts and may not know what to do. The best way to teach math to your child involves practice, patience, and persistence combined with encouragement and understanding.
No matter your child’s grade, you can utilize these 11 strategies on how to teach math effectively to help your children do good at math.
- Make math a positive experience
- Show how math can be a hands-on learning experience
- Make learning math fun and enjoyable
- Talk math to your child
- Focus on mental calculation
- Understand your child needs
- Improve logical skills
- Encourage independence
- Use different approaches
- Ask students to explain their ideas
- Provide feedback and reward progress
1. Make math a positive experience
A positive attitude makes a vast difference in all areas, and it is important to practice this for understanding how to teach math effectively to kids. Positivity towards math will yield better performance and success in math. It is a common belief that math is difficult and only talented people can do it. However, this is not necessarily true. With regular practice and the right mindset, it is indeed possible for anyone to become good at math. Do not forget the importance of positivity when it comes to math strategies.
If the child looks towards math with positivity, they will be more interested and focused on learning math, and this will automatically help them do better at math. Once the child begins to do well in math, they will get more confident in their abilities and keen to learn even more. On the contrary, if the child is negative towards math, they will try to avoid math and do poorly in math, which inevitably makes them more negative towards math. It may also lead to math anxiety in children with physical symptoms.
A positive attitude provides greater benefits than just good math scores. When the child encounters any problem in math, instead of seeing it a hurdle and quitting, the child with a positive attitude will instead see it as a challenge and is more willing to overcome it rather than give up. Positive attitude increases, motivation, self-confidence and promotes enjoyment and engagement. Studies have shown a positive attitude during arithmetic calculations to induce better functioning of the hippocampus, an important memory center in the brain. It also enhances cognitive abilities and memory skills, and thus makes learning easier.
Being positive is the best way to teach math. As a parent, you should always keep in mind that children learn from your behavior. Even though you may not like math yourself, you should never say things like “I don’t like math either” or “Many people do not like math” or “Math is hard”. You should always encourage your child to love math from an early age. Many children are also disinterested in math because they do not see math as being useful in their later lives. If you show your children how math concepts apply to real life and how we use math in everyday life, they will be more invested in learning math. It will make a positive difference and make children naturally more inclined to learn math.
2. Make math a hands-on learning experience
If you want your kids to be interested in math and are wondering how to teach math effectively, you need to think out of the box. You need to come up with creative ways of practicing math outside of textbooks. Making math hands-on is a highly effective math teaching strategies. For children, learning math involves some completely new and abstract concepts that can be difficult for them to understand. Turning learning math into a hands-on activity helps children understand the workings, relevance, and applications of these concepts. We have outlined three effective ways of how you can make learning math a real-life experience.
Use math in day to day activities: Math is important in our everyday lives. Since we use math every day, why not involve your children in these activities and utilize it is an opportunity to teach math. For example: Estimating and measuring ingredients during cooking, comparing prices, and calculating discounts and change during shopping, making timetables, and asking your child to tell the time, etc. For younger children, you can count steps, look out for different shapes and patterns, etc.
Use visual methods of teaching math: Math is difficult for most children to visualize. However, a visual representation will help children understand math in a deeper way that will not easily forget. Such methods also show children connections and relationships between numbers. For younger children, you can use various objects as strategies for teaching math like marbles, Legos, blocks, and toys to teach math. As the child progresses, you can employ techniques like dot method, number bonds, arrays, area model, number line, bar diagram, etc. to help your child understand math.
Incorporate math in other subjects: When your child is learning other subjects, try to drop in a bit of math to improve your teaching maths strategies. For example, when your child is learning geography, you can talk about mathematical innovations that have made it possible to measure the height of mountains and the depth of the oceans. While learning science, you can show how scientific conclusions are based on mathematical calculations like counting the rings of trees to determine its age. While learning history, you can show how it is possible to divide history into different periods using math. You can also tell them about how Romans used math to build the Pantheon, or how Leonardo da Vinci used math in his art, or how we use math to calculate the area of a country and the population of the world, etc.
Show children the real-life applications of math: Our universe follows mathematical laws and math is present all around us. Be it symmetry and patterns in nature or man-made structures based on mathematical calculations. Even almost all careers are dependent on math ranging from artist, carpenter, fashion designer, accountant, architect, engineer, or cashier. It is really impossible to avoid math. We need math in our daily lives to make logical decisions, manage our finances and time, and optimize our resources. Showing children the relevance of math is an effective math teaching strategies and will encourage your children to embrace math. When you practice any math topic with your child, you can tell them about its real-life applications at the end of the math session.
3.Make learning math fun and enjoyable
Is your child bored and disengaged during math sessions? Learning math can be frustrating, difficult, and tedious for kids. If you are worried about how to teach math effectively, a sure way to make your child more interested in math is to make math fun and enjoyable, and what better way to do so than involve games. Children love games and there are plenty of interesting ways you can turn learning math into a game. With these games, your child will be master math skills in no time without even realizing they are actually learning. Even in schools today, the older methods of teaching math are being constantly replaced fun activities, games, and technology.
Math toys and games: Math games are excellent for teaching strategies for mathematics. They make learning math more fun and simultaneously develop strategic and abstract thinking. For younger children, you can practice math using blocks, shapes, sticks, toys, marbles, etc. There are many math-based toys for children created specifically to enhance learning and engage children. They cover various topics like counting, geometry, and algebra. You can also use playing cards, board games, and puzzles to help your kid’s understand math concepts, reinforce math facts, and practice math skills. You can get creative and invent your own math games by using everyday objects. If you are out of ideas, you can turn to the internet or read about our collection of fun math games for kids.
Math apps: Devices and technology are already an important part of your kids’ lives today. You can take advantage of these new methods of teaching math to your kids. There are a range of educational math apps and games available catering to different age groups and focused on building different math skills. These new-age apps have proven to be an effective tool for learning math. Moreover, these apps let your children progress at their own pace and identifies the areas your child is struggling with. Moreover, it allows for customization and generates progress reports for the parents. Learn about the best math apps for kids.
Involve humor: A laughter and break is always a good idea when frustration sets in. Keep math jokes , math riddles and brain teasers up your sleeve to break monotony during math sessions so the students can begin again with a fresh mind.
4. Talk math to your child
Math has its own language and fluency of this language is necessary to develop a deeper understanding of math. Communicating in math is an important aspect of how to teach math effectively to your kids. It helps kids build on their thinking and enhances their overall learning experience. This math instructional strategy is also vital for students to make sense of math problems, understand instructions, and explain accurately the areas they may be having trouble with. Knowledge of math vocabulary is especially important for solving math word problems and formulating correct equations. You need to take the necessary steps to reinforce and enhance your child’s math vocabulary.
There are various math strategies you can employ to improve your child’s math vocabulary. Focus on logical comparisons and use math-based words to denote quantity between objects like heavier or lighter, far and near, more or less, etc. Make sure your child understands math terms like more than, sum, difference, divisor, reciprocal, irrational number, etc.
When you need to measure or count something, make your child a part of it. Practice the metric system whenever you can. Make sure to drop in math vocabulary during everyday conversations and questions like: Is the bucket 1/3rd full, Can you check the quantity in the flour packet, is it 500 grams or Do you think this hat is shaped like a cone.
Solve plenty of word problems with your kids. Make sure that your child understands relationships and connections like greater than, more then, sum usually denotes addition, etc. This will help them understand the problem more effectively. Ensure that your child can express his concerns with math accurately or he can explain how he reached with a solution using proper terms.
5. Focus on mental calculation
Mental Math is an important skill and one of the important strategies for teaching math. It enhances understanding of math concepts, improves logical thinking, and exercises your child’s brains. It boosts memory skills and enhances flexibility in thinking. Doing mental math requires fluency in math facts and concepts, the ability to recall and process information, and break down the problem into smaller and solvable components. It involves estimation and reasoning skills as well as analytical skills.
To enhance mental math abilities, ensure that your child is fluent in math concepts. Make it a habit to practice estimation skills, be fluent in math tables, and reinforce math facts. Teach your child methods on how they can make problems simple and easy to calculate such as rounding off, decomposition, etc. You can also teach math tricks and math short cut methods as teaching maths strategies to enhance their speed for mental calculations.
You can make use of mental math worksheets, math apps, and games to improve mental math abilities. Also, make it a habit to involve mental math calculation in everyday activities like calculating discounts, allotting the budget, etc. Ask your child random questions like how many 8’s will make 200 or what is 83 minus 42 etc.
Mental Math makes math calculation faster and easier, so always encourage your child to calculate mentally rather than use a pen or calculator. Do not underestimate the value of mental math when it comes to how to teach math effectively to kids. Mental Math can be hard for students but regular practice will make your child a pro in no time.
6. Understand your child needs
Every child is different and the way you teach math efficiently to your child has to be personalized accordingly. To devise effective math teaching strategies, you need to observe your child’s habits, their attention span during math sessions and tailor lessons accordingly. You also need to observe the key areas your child might be struggling with. Try our various approaches and find out how your child learns best.
For example: For children with short attention span, you need more engaging activities and short worksheets. For children who are having difficulty understating a particular math concept, you need to focus on exercises that teach those concepts to your child. If your child finds some problem difficult, you need to go slow and simplify the problem. If your child naturally talented in math and has already covered up his curriculum, you can focus on extra-math activities and advanced lessons to stimulate your child. You need to vary your strategies for mathematics teaching.
Another important thing that parents must keep in mind is to build on a strong foundation. Before your child proceeds to the next grade, ensure that all the skills of the previous grade have been mastered. If this is not done, the child will have great difficulty as math is cumulative and problems become more and more complex. So, a strong foundation of basic math concepts and facts is a must if you want your child to do well in math.
If your child is really struggling and you are worried about how to teach math effectively, it may be helpful to talk to the math teacher about your child. The teacher’s experience and knowledge may provide you with helpful insight on your child’s performance in class and how to help your child. You could also ask for suggestions and lessons plan from the teacher. If you are not able to teach your child, it may be a good idea to hire a tutor. If your child shows other signs like difficulty reading numbers or concentrating, the child may be having learning difficulties or math anxiety. Solve any weakness as soon as possible and ensure that there are no learning gaps.
7. Improve logical skills
Math is highly dependent on logic. Developing a sense of logic is one of the best way to teach math. Logic requires the ability to remember facts, quick memory recall, critical and analytical thinking skills. Logical abilities are not just useful in solving math but we need it in our daily lives to make meaningful choices and good decisions and avoid mistakes. If your child is weak in logical skills, they will definitely struggle with math. Not to worry, there are math strategies ways to train your child’s brain to develop their logical skills.
To improve logical skills, you can practice various types of reasoning activities and logical quizzes with your child. Solving math puzzles are a wonderful way to enhance logical thinking. Puzzles are also fun and engaging. Choose a math puzzle that aligns with your child’s age and skill. There are many math puzzles available like Sudoku, Kakuro, Magic square, etc. You can also play logic-based games with your child like qwirkle, dominos and achi or make use of puzzles like Rubik’s cube, tangram etc.
Another strategy for teaching math you can take to improve your child’s logical skill is to focus on developing estimation skills from an early age. Learning to estimate enhances your child’s understanding of connections between numbers, value, and quantity. Incorporate estimation in day to day activities and make your child a part of it. For example: When you are trying to make a budget for shopping, comparing products, or measuring ingredients. You can also ask guesswork questions focused on how many or how much to improve estimation skills. Estimation is helpful in math and will help your child determine if the answer is within reason.
8. Encourage independence
When you are teaching math to your child, you may be tempted to show your children how to solve the problem as soon as they get stuck. However, try to encourage your child to work through the problem on their own as much as possible. Give your child space and time to progress at their own pace. One of the ways on how to teach math effectively is to promote independent thinking and productive struggle . This is an important skill and will help your child in math as well later in their lives.
An effective math teaching strategies is to give your child the opportunity to understand the concept by themselves and figure out the steps to reach the solution. If you do not do this, then the child will be dependent on you for answers. It may also affect their self-confidence and they may always be confused if their answer is right or not. By giving space to your child, you let them understand how they can learn best on their own and help them identify the areas they are having trouble with. This way, you can target those areas specifically. It will also help you understand if your child has mastered the foundational concepts.
This does not mean that you do not help your child at all. You can gently nudge your child in the right direction or shoe them similar examples if they really need help. Also, do not rush lessons, criticize your child, and be pushy when teaching. This might make the child anxious, confused and they may even feel they are not smart enough.
9. Use different approaches
Your child may think that a particular math problem can be solved only through one method they learned in class. This type of thinking encourages memorization and not understanding biased on reason, and it results in the student not being able to proceed further if they forget some step. The truth is, in math the same problem can be approached through a number of different math strategies. This is the beauty of math.
If your child gets stuck in a problem, encourage your child to look for new ways of solving the problem. This will help your child discover patterns, make connections, and enhance their logical abilities. It will also boost their abilities to solve complex math problems, and teach them that if they get stuck, they can always switch to a different approach. This effective math teaching strategies will also save your children from frustration.
From an early age, teach your child the relationship between numbers and various mathematical operations, and how they can be manipulated in different ways. For example: 2 + 6 = 8, 8 – 6 =2, 8 – 2 =6. Using Number Bonds is a great way to teach number relationship. Another example is would be how addition is related to multiplication. 2 + 2+ 2 = 6 and 2 x 3 = 6, 23 = 6.
Also, teach your child various methods and math strategies for the same operation. For example: For addition, apart from the carry method, you can teach them various methods like rounding off, decomposition, using distributive property, etc. You can also teach them various math tricks and short cut methods to simplify complex problems and calculate faster.
With these technique on how to teach math effectively, your child will start working their brains and figuring things out instead of just relying on the one method. It will also spark your child’s curiosity in math and they will no longer see math as a boring subject, but a subject of possibilities.
10. Ask students to explain their ideas
When your child is solving math problems, always focus on the process than the final answer. Do not focus only on getting the correct answer. Instead, focus on the math strategies your child is using. If the child understands the steps he has to take, it is easy to get the answer. And of course, there are multiple ways to get the answer. Always encourage reasoning over memorization. Teach your child the reasoning behind formulas, rather than telling them that it is fact.
Having your children communicate their reasoning is an efficient strategy for teaching math. When you assign a math problem, ask your child to explain the nature of the problem and how are they going to approach it. Ask them if there are other possible strategies they could use. When the child solves a problem, ask them to explain how they reached the answer. You could have them explain orally, in writing or you can encourage them to use objects and visuals to explain the reasoning behind the problems.
One of the ways on how to teach math effectively is to give the child a chance to reflect and share their thinking and ideas. It will also provide you an insight into your child’s understanding of concepts and if they have trouble in any area. Additionally, it will help your access your child’s knowledge and clarity. Last but not least, it will also has a positive impact on the student’s overall learning and will make your child more confident and engaged in the lesson.
11. Provide feedback and reward progress
No one is perfect. Learning math involves difficulty with understanding concepts and making countless mistakes. And, this is why it is important to keep track of your child’s progress in math, and providing essential feedback to your child is one of the important math teaching strategies.
Providing feedback helps your child understand how they can correct their mistakes and how they can work to improve math abilities . Feedback encourages the child to reflect on what they have learned, how they are performing and what they have achieved. Feedback has a positive impact on the child’s performance and academic achievement. It provides them confidence and increases their enthusiasm for learning.
Feedback as a teaching maths has to be educative, and meaningful. Before providing feedback, ask yourself what the child is good at, what is the child is struggling with, how the child compares to his peers, how the child can improve, and what type of feedback the child best responds to. To increase effectiveness, provide feedback at regular intervals, and in a timely manner. When feedback is given immediately after, it will help the child see their mistakes and they will remember not to repeat them.
Feedback is an important part of how to teach math effectively to kids. But, as much as feedback is important, ensure that your feedback is constructive and motivational, not judgmental, and discouraging. Negative feedbacks tend to have negative effects on the child and may hamper their self-esteem and discourage learning.
Feedback strategies should be devised according to your child’s individual nature and needs. Some children respond well to well gentle nudging while others may need a thorough explanation. Feedback should always be nurturing and encouraging to the child. Also, make it a point to recognize your child’s efforts and reward their progress and achievements. This will show them the value of their efforts and motivate them to achieve even more.
We hope that you were able to learn about how to teach math effectively to kids through the various strategies outlined in this article.
Always keep in mind that children different and your child is unique in his abilities. Make sure to plan your strategies for teaching math according to your child’s learning capacity and interests. Try out different methods and find out what works best for your child. Your child may have a hard time understanding basic concepts or your child may be excelling in math without much effort. No matter your child’s abilities do not judge your child or compare them with their peers. Every child progresses at their own pace. With the right kind of support and encouragement, your child will surely blossom.
Here are some key points to remember while teaching math. Introduce math to your child math from an early age to give them a head start in school. Make learning math fun, engaging and enjoyable and not a chore. Show your children the relevance of math. Involve math in day to day activities and encourage independent thinking. Give extra attention to foundational concepts. And lastly, Repeat, Repeat and Repeat until perfect.
Wish you and your child succeed in math!
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