Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Parents have tremendous power over their children's behaviour and attitudes towards various subjects and situations. They can reinforce almost any qualities they want in their children in myriad ways. Most of the time, these qualities become a part of who they are. In the same vein, if you want to raise a child with a love for maths, it’s entirely within your jurisdiction.
To successfully cultivate a passion for mathematics in your kids, you need to show them why it’s useful. Think back to when you were learning math. Were you one of those people who lost interest because you didn’t feel like you needed to know these things in real life? Children tend to think the same way. They only retain lessons that are useful to them. So how do you make maths exciting and show your child that it has value in their daily lives?
1. Search for opportunities to do math in real life
Motivate your child to take the opportunity to do maths and solve problems wherever possible. For instance, the next time you do your grocery run, bring your child with you and get them to try and calculate the price of four cartons of milk. On the way home, ask them to gauge your estimated arrival time based on distance and speed. If they’re asking for a toy or game, see if they can count how long it will take them to save for it based on their allowance.
2. Play math games at home
There is no shortage of games incorporating basic math concepts on the market. By employing the method of play, you can get them started as early as primary school. Examples of mathematically motivated games include chess, checkers, dominoes, backgammon, Rummikub, and many more. If your child feels ready to take on more challenging games, sudoku puzzles are always an excellent choice for fun mathematical stimulation.
3. Teach them about actual mathematicians
Kids often don’t get a chance to see how interesting maths is. Many don’t even know that maths is a field they could potentially go into in the future. Often, higher-level maths is where people actually get to be creative and work on compelling problems. You can ignite interest in the subject by explaining the life and work of some of the most renowned mathematicians and how their work has shaped our lives. For example, learning about Ada Lovelace, the woman who is considered the first computer programmer, can be very inspiring to them.
4. Lead by example
Many adults report still disliking maths long after graduating from formal schooling. If that sounds like you, you need to ensure that this feeling doesn’t bleed into your everyday life – especially not in front of your child.
Children tend to model their attitudes after their parents. If you visibly dislike maths and declare that it’s too complicated, chances are, your child will feel the same way even if they haven’t attempted it, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, try and display confidence and excitement when doing everyday math. Simple things like calculating a tip or the price of an item after a discount can be a teachable moment when done right.
Mathematics is a hugely important aspect of both education and life. Instilling a love for math in your child requires a lot of patience and consistent attention. Math is a skill like any other and requires practice and determination. However, when your child comes to love the subject, it won’t feel too much like work to them. If you want to encourage your child further to find their passion in maths, consider Colourtrain Academy. We are a math tuition centre in Singapore that offers specialised and reliable support for your child as we guide them along this learning journey. Contact us today to learn more!