“Ugh! I hate math and I only do it because I have to.” Is this you? Well, most people who hated math actually started loving it after they realized what was really bothering them about math.
Okay… now answer these questions.
- Will you get nervous before skydiving?
- If you don’t skydive would you get nervous if you went up again to make a jump?
“Yes! That’s obvious,” you would say. Why? Because when you fear something and don’t face it, the fear prolongs until you give it a try. It’s the same with math. As long as you fear it, it will appear to be hard, tricky, complex and baffling.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
The only way to remove your fear of math is training. That’s right, training, the same way people train to drive, fly, sail, or skydive. People doing those things learn the principles one at a time, then practice until their reactions become natural, paying close attention to details. This is the same method needed to learn math. It requires repeated practice. Practice is the greater part of learning math and a great way to develop math skills.
“I hate to practice math,” claim is a lie!
Accept it. Because, there are students who play a piano or a guitar on their own for hours trying to get a new style to become natural. Then there are kids who work for days to perfect tossing a soccer ball from between their feet, over their shoulders and from behind. What is it that takes practice from being a chore to becoming an obsession? The answer is desire. Desire can lead a person to anything he wants to achieve in life.
Think out of the box!
Math provides the most useful skills that you can learn. The trouble is most of us fail to see the practical use of it. Understand that you cannot escape from math and you just need to change how you think about it. The entire universe operates on math and you’ll find it interesting to discover some of the amazing truths if you make the effort.
Every person can do math!
You don’t have to be gifted to learn math because any average person can learn it all the time.
What does it take to be successful at math?
- Desire to learn
- Regular practice
- Researching the facts that link math with everyday activities
How can parents encourage their kids to love math?
What to do?
- Help your child have a “can do” attitude by praising your child’s efforts in learning math.
- Acknowledge the facts that math can be challenging at times and that persistence and hard work are the keys to success.
- Help your child to understand that struggling at times in math is normal and is actually necessary to, and valuable in understanding math.
- Discuss logics and math problems together. Even if the solution is not found by the effort of the whole family, your child would benefit from seeing the problem from different angles and exploring different approaches.
Link math with daily life
- Help your child realize that math is a significant part of everyday life.
- Show your child that every day, people face situations that involve math, such as deciding whether there is enough money to purchase a list of items at the store, reading a map, building a budget, deciding on the shortest route to a destination, developing a schedule, or determining the price of an item on sale etc.
Make math fun
- Play board games, solve puzzles, and ponder brainteasers with your child. Your child enjoys these kinds of activities while enhancing his/her mathematical thinking.
- Point out the math involved in each game, and have your child discuss the strategies he/she used.
Learn about math-related careers
- Math is foundational to a wide variety of interesting careers. Research different careers with your child, and find out what he/she should be doing now to prepare for these options.
What NOT to do?
- Keep in mind that pushing your child to earn better grades often has negative effects. By trying to obtain a higher mark and be nice to the teacher and to parents, your child is simply “following directions” rather than developing his/her own way of thinking.
- Praise your child for his/her achievements, but do not criticize for insufficient performance. It may kill any interest in math.
- Do not rush your child to follow the senior grades curriculum. The bare knowledge of advanced material does not make your child “talented”.
Author: Sim K