Is your child struggling with math? Too many can relate to having a frustrating math lesson at the dining room table. With a little time, patience, and creativity, you can help your child have that “a-ha!” moment where it all comes together. If you know your child could use extra math help, we are positive that parents can handle the task with a few key tips. Below, we’ve outlined our top recommendations for helping your child build their math skills and gain confidence in their newfound knowledge.
- Be positive
- Talk it out
- Have them teach you
- Use their interests
- Do not rush
- Take breaks
- Be Patient
- Use a math aid
How to Help Your Child with Math at Home
When working with kids, you can’t beat a positive attitude. Children who have math anxiety or are struggling to comprehend the lesson will start to shut down at the first big hurdle. As a parent, maintaining your composure and using positive reinforcement can help them stay focused and committed to solving the problem. Reassure them that math can be hard and takes time, but not to give in to their frustration! Creating a positive and fun learning environment will help them go the distance and reshape their feelings on the subject.
Talk It Out
Active participation improves learning and memory. Speaking text aloud, according to research, aids in the retention of words in long-term memory. The combined activity of speaking and hearing oneself had the most favorable influence on memory, dubbed the “production effect.” Instead of getting too focused on the problem, try to talk it out using different scenarios. For example, “Which properties of equality do you need here?” or “What kind of transformation function could have changed this figure?”
Have Them Teach You
Instead of doing all the teaching yourself, have your child teach you how to solve a problem once they have it down. This kind of practice works similarly to repetition and will help them retain this information and apply it to future math problems. It will give them confidence in their math skills to have the roles reversed while making them think through their solving process and put it into words.
Use Their Interests
Is your kid starting to mentally check out during your at-home math activities? Don’t worry – it happens! Try using their hobbies and interests under the lens of math to reel them back in. Do they love cars? Are they more into arts and crafts? Have them color and draw out a math problem for a visual aid to solve. Finding a way to connect with them on a personal level to capture their interest is essential in getting them to pay attention and better understand the real-world impact and reasoning behind their math homework.
Do not rush
When helping your child with math homework, it is easy to look at the questions at hand (especially if there’s a lot of them) and try to plow through them. Rushing the process leads to either incorrect work by your child or shows too much help from mom or dad. The key is not going so quickly that you are practically doing it for them! Take time and implement some tips above, like talking it out or having them walk you through one they already understand. Tell them to try an alternative approach from what they would normally do. Slow and steady wins the race – everyone progresses at a different rate when it comes to math.
Focusing too hard on one thing and spending hours on it is draining for anybody; this also applies to a child doing math. Encourage your kid to take breaks, take a walk outside, have a drink of water – anything that disengages their brains, even for just a short time. They’ll come back to their homework feeling refreshed and might even break through some mental blockers in the process.
Because math requires a lot of multi-step procedures to solve problems, mastering it takes a lot of practice compared to other courses. Repeating a procedure over and over might quickly bore some kids, causing them to lose interest in math. While teaching your child to be patient is a vital part of their development, they should also be encouraged to practice math through interesting and engaging activities.
Use a Math Aid
Do not be afraid to utilize an additional math aid to help provide individualized lessons, additional worksheets, practice tests, and more. An online platform like Mathleaks is a great way for kids to work on building their math skills at home and understand math better. It works like a tutor in their pocket, and is especially helpful in areas where parents may not be confident in their understanding of the material. Mathleaks can provide clarity, step-by-step guidance, and examples for parents and students.