You do not have to be an expert in Mathematics to help your child to succeed. Many parents are traumatised by their experience of learning maths in school and panic when their child asks them for help!
Here are some of my top tips for helping your child improve their math knowledge:
- Personal Emotions – Do not allow your feelings for the subject influence your child – “oh I was never any good at Math. You got that from me”. Try instead, “oh I always found that topic difficult. Maybe we could learn it together”. Your willingness to try and struggle teaches your child that it is ok to not know everything and that you will work together to figure this out.
- Riddles and logical thinking – Math is all about logic. And believe it not, word problems can actually be fun on car journeys or at the dinner table. They are for all ages and can teach your child the joys of a challenge and how to approach a problem.
- Practice practice practice – don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you cant get it wrong. The only way to learn is by doing. You cannot learn it off. You physically need to sit with a pen and paper and work it out the old fashioned way! The more questions you complete, the more familiar you become.
- Allow your child to see you struggle with a topic – let them see that no one gets the answer straight away. The best mathematicians are not the ones who get it right. They are the ones who refuse to give up until they get it correct. They are persistent. This is a life skill that we need to teach our children.
Good mathematics is not about how many answers you know…it’s how you behave when you don’t know
- Learn together – allow your child to explain the topic to you. You do not need to fully understand it but it has been shown that a student will learn more from explaining it to someone else than by just practicing themselves. Be impressed. Your child will be delighted to be able to start teaching you for a change. Let them!
When one teaches, two learn
- Take a break! Sometimes the topic can seem impossible so it is important to get out, take a break, get some fresh air and then come back to the problem at hand with a fresh set of eyes and perspective. It will amaze you how quickly you will solve a problem when you come back to it!
The only way to LEARN Mathemtaics is to DO Mathematics
Do you have any other pieces of advice for parents or do you agree or disagree with any of my points below? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!