6 tips for your children to succeed in math
- Encourage them to play games that require math. Any game that has dice will help kids enjoy math and develop number sense.
- Always support your kids when they are working on math problems and do not tell them that they are wrong. For example, if your child multiplies 4×3 and believes that the product is 7 instead of telling them that it is wrong tell them, ”I understand what you are thinking. You’re using what you already know about adding and that’s why you think the result is 7. But when we multiply we have 4 groups with 3 units in each one…”
- It is not essential to associate math with speed during the early stages – this is the best way to cause anxiety. Even if the medium and long term goal is to achieve agility, don’t get nervous if they are slow at first.
- Never say that you were not good at math in school, or that you didn’t like it, especially if you are a mother. It has been proven that when mothers share this idea with their daughters, their grades tend to suffer.
- Foster a number sense with them so that they have an idea of the size of the numbers and know how to flexibly combine them. This is the difference between students performing well or poorly. For example, to add 29+56 it is much easier to add a 1 and add 30+55. This flexibility to manipulate numbers is called number sense and it is very important.
- The most important thing is to have a growth mindset, to be aware that they have unlimited potential and that succeeding in math requires a lot of effort and work. Students that have a growth mindset do much better in school and life in general. On the other hand, if they have a less flexible mindset they may think that they will never be able to do well. It is not a good idea to tell your children that they are ”smart” when they do something well. Although it seems like a positive comment, it could create difficulties in the future. When it takes time for them to understand something, they could begin to think that they are not really smart. It is more encouraging to say ”Look at how well you understand this,” or ”I like the way you are thinking.” And when something seems difficult ”Great! Your mind is growing!”
(Information collected from the non-profit organization YouCubed, University of Stanford subsidiary )
So take advantage of summer vacation by playing table games that include dice or cards with your kids. Send them off on their own to buy something small, like bread or the newspaper, so they can begin to get acquainted with what things cost and managing money. This inspires a positive attitude towards numbers and encourages them to continue reaching higher and higher.
If you would like to maintain what they have learned over the course of the school year, as well as good study habits, try reading for a period of time and 15 minutes of Smartick every day!
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