Are you concerned that your child may be struggling with grasping the basic concepts of math and worried that this challenge could have a long-lasting effect on their education over time?
If your child is having a hard time understanding basic math concepts like counting, addition, and subtraction while their peers seem to grasp these concepts, this could be a sign they’re struggling.
Difficulty in problem-solving or in logically working through math problems can be another indicator. If your child constantly avoids doing their math homework or becomes noticeably stressed or anxious when dealing with math, it could suggest they’re facing difficulties.
If your child shows any of these signs over an extended period, it may be worth discussing with their teachers or seeking out a specialist for further assessment. Remember, struggling with math isn’t a reflection on a child’s intelligence. Everyone learns at their own pace, and in their own way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative
It’s not uncommon for younger, elementary-aged students to associate personalities or stories with numbers. This is just one way of trying to make sense of what can be quite abstract concepts.
In fact, some studies suggest that this kind of thinking can actually help kids grasp mathematical concepts. Research has revealed some very interesting information about how children learn the abstract concepts of math, but very little of that education is being applied within the classroom just yet.
In relation to subtraction and division, these operations are usually more challenging for children compared to addition and multiplication. Subtraction involves the concept of taking away, which can be harder for children to visualize, and division is another step up in cognitive complexity.
Teachers often use numerous strategies, like using manipulatives or integrating technology into lessons to make these concepts more tangible for kids. Educators also try to relate mathematics to real-life situations to make it more relatable. Introducing math concepts through fun activities is a great way to help kids understand and enjoy learning.
Fun Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math
Baking or Cooking
Following a recipe can teach kids about measuring and fractions. They learn to measure ingredients precisely and get an idea of how fractions work when they see half a cup of sugar, for instance.
Make a game out of estimating the total cost of items in the cart. This is a simple exercise in practicing addition and subtraction skills. Plus, it’s a real-world application kids can understand.
Math Card Games
There are many card games that help practice math skills. For example, “Salute” is a game for practicing addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
Games like Monopoly, Clue, or any other board games that involve moving spaces and counting can help reinforce basic number skills.
Planting seeds in rows or designing a flower bed can involve all sorts of counting, measuring and calculations, helping children to use math in practical ways.
Online Mathematics Games
Websites like Prodigy Game, Math Playground, and Cool Math Games have a multitude of games adjustable to different skill levels,
Odd and Even Hopscotch
Games like this can help your child learn the simplicity of even and odd numbers. Throw a stone and skip to where it lands. If the stone lands on an even number, hop with both feet. If the stone lands on an odd number, hop on one foot.
Gather small objects like blocks or Lego bricks. Ask the child to group them into pairs. The ones that can be grouped perfectly are even. If there’s one left without a pair, it’s an odd number. This can also be done with things like socks or shoes, which naturally come in pairs to further emphasize the concept.
I’m thinking of a number
Think of a number and then provide clues to help your child guess what it is. Give clues such as, “My number is even,” or “My number is odd and comes before 7.” This activity teaches children to associate numbers with being odd or even and reinforces their counting skills as they guess.
Odd and Even number coloring
Create a simple grid of squares with different numbers. Ask your child to color the squares with odd numbers one color and the squares with even numbers another. This is not just fun but also improves their number recognition and understanding of the odd and even concept.
Parental Involvement is Essential
When it comes to a child’s learning process, parental involvement is incredibly important. Parents can engage with their children’s learning in a multitude of ways, from helping with homework, playing math-related games, incorporating math into everyday activities, or simply encouraging a ‘can-do’ attitude towards difficult problems.
Furthermore, studies have found that children whose parents are involved in their schooling have higher educational outcomes. This involvement can breed familiarity and comfort with math, reducing anxiety and helping students to perform better.
Additionally, your insights and observations about your child’s strengths and challenges can be tremendously useful for the teachers. When your child sees that you’re interested in learning and value education, it’s likely they’ll pick up on this and mimic your positive attitude. It’s all about fostering a positive learning environment.