Maths can be tough to learn, but there are things parents can do to help install an appreciation for maths (and how it can be useful as an adult) from a young age, says Patrick Quinn.
PLAY MATHS GAMES AT HOME
There are many games your child can play that involve maths. Beginning in the elementary years, students can learn to enjoy maths by playing games such as chess, dominoes, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and backgammon. From there, they can move onto more challenging games like Sudoku, which is perfect for intermediate age.
FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO USE MATHS
Encourage your child to solve problems involving maths outside of school. In the grocery store, ask him or her to figure out the price of four cans of tuna. In the car, ask how long it will take to travel to your destination based on your speed. In the toy store, ask your child to calculate the price of a discounted toy and how long it will take them to save up their allowance to buy it.
BE AN EXAMPLE
Many adults say they hated maths in school. If you are one of them, be careful that you don’t communicate that attitude to your child. It can cause maths anxiety, which sadly is contagious. Help your child improve his attitude toward maths by showing him that you are confident when completing routine tasks like counting money, estimating the cost of the grocery bill, or doing addition and subtraction out loud.
POINT OUT THE MATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
From figuring out how many milliliters are in a cup while baking a cake to calculating the difference between time zones before calling a relative, you can show your child that maths is everywhere around them. You can also point out the importance of maths in different professions including architecture, medicine, fashion design, restaurant management, astronautics, and computer programming. These acknowledgments can make a difference and even get your child excited about maths.
Patrick Quinn is a parenting expert at brainly.com and a dad of three school-aged children.