As parents, we know how essential for our children to have a good foundation in maths, because that will make their lives easier in the future. But we should also understand that our children will encounter some roadblocks along the way, like when they are struggling to learn the times tables.
During these times, you must be your child’s biggest supporter and inspiration as they learn the most difficult concepts in maths. So we’ve put together this list that may help you motivate your child in maths.
Praise them for their effort
Every child will be stuck on a maths problem or concept at some point. You should reward your kids for their effort, especially if they try their best to solve mathematical problems. This will build their resilience, an essential quality that will keep them trying to improve. In fact, this trait is more valuable than just talent alone. So, kids who are always rewarded for being ‘smart’ or skilful are more vulnerable to setbacks, and they can quickly get discouraged or don’t take risks at all for fear of failure.
Point out progress
It is better to break down big goals into manageable chunks, so your child can reach these goals easily. In fact, they will be motivated to learn more about maths if they can learn simple concepts and skills before delving into more advanced topics.
Be always on their side
With so much learning to do, including other extracurricular activities, your child can sometimes feel overwhelmed. So, if your child has hit a wall, you need to sit them with them and find a better solution together. When talking to them, use language like “let us work together” or “we’ll find a way to solve this problem.” This will make your child feel like you’re in it together, and that will encourage them to keep trying.
We should always gather all the required materials for our child’s study session, so it’s all ready to go. This will ensure that they are not distracted with things like searching for materials that they need for their homework.
Be patient and consistent
You should understand that learning is a slow process, so that you can consider it as a marathon rather than a sprint. So, expect that your child will get stuck along the way. When that happens, you need to be patient and consistent so they can also develop their resilience and be motivated to move on and not give up.
Overall, learning maths is not a walk in the park, so you need to be there to assist and help your child develop their skills. You may also want to consider some of our recommendations above because this might help you motivate your child to learn maths.
AThe further your child gets into learning maths, the more time they will spend time being stuck as the problems just get harder. We don’t want to see them struggle, but it is something we cannot prevent. Many parents are tempted to help out, but that’s not always the best thing to do.
In fact, it can be counterintuitive since you don’t want them to be too dependent. On the other hand, being stuck in maths is just part of the process, so you must guide them towards the process because this will help them develop strategies for getting unstuck themselves.
Talk about the question but never give away the answer
The most effective way to get unstuck is to let your child explain the problem. In fact, explaining a problem will help them organise their thoughts. Also, you need to know what’s holding them up and what they have already tried, and why it didn’t work. This is often the only way to crack the problem wide open.
As a parent, you should ask your child questions that will force them to think analytically and look at the question differently. A qualified Maths tutor can be very helpful with this particular strategy.
Ask them what they know
Asking your child what they know will help them clarify what bits of the answer they know, so you can determine where the gaps are. So, it’s best to ask them to write everything on a piece of paper and let them turn the problem into a picture or diagram.
You may also require them to break the question into parts that they recognise, because this will help them make links between different parts of their learning. You can also ask them why this is different from the last question or problem you did. This will encourage them to try similar methods and see where they fell short.
Asking them about symbols and words
It is also a great idea to ask them about words and symbols because this can start a conversation about the question. Since maths uses various symbols, your child must know their purpose and their uses.
Overall, helping your child get unstuck in maths without giving away the answer is a good habit to get into. This habit will also help them become more independent because, at some point in their school career, they will need to answer difficult mathematical problems that even you don’t know the answer yourself.
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