Advice Column, Education

Make Maths marvellous at home

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  • Category Advice Column, Education

Cindy Glass, Founder and Owner of after-school remediation franchise, Step Up Education Centres says that Maths is an interesting subject that is directly linked to one’s emotions, “Our children either love it or fear it and there is very little to be found in between!”

She adds that the good news is that there are ways to promote Maths at home, “Your child will improve in Maths when he sees the value of fun, real-time application of the subject in his life.”

In fact, she says that the holidays are the perfect opportunity for you to do exactly and share her tips on how you can re-ignite your child’s passion for Maths in time for Term 3:

1. Get creative in the kitchen

Measurement and capacity are concrete concepts often taught in abstract ways.  By simply encouraging your child to help you weigh and measure ingredients in the kitchen, the understanding of measurement in Maths is easily mastered! Concepts such as millilitres and litres are better understood when DOING rather than on a sheet of paper!

2. Eat pizza! 

The concept of fractions is difficult to master if your child cannot see the fraction in action!  One of the best ways of explaining fractions is by simply ordering and eating a pizza! Remember, a pizza is almost always cut into eight equal pieces – each piece is one eighth of the whole pizza.  Two pieces is the same size as one quarter and so on!

3. Go shopping together

Younger children battle to understand the concept of Rands, cents, totals and change.  Every moment is a teachable moment. Using a calculator to add the values of the till slip and working out how much change you received can be done at home. You could vary the scenarios. “What if I paid with R100?”, or “Would I have enough money to pay for the groceries if I had two R10 notes and one R20 note?”

4. Mental Maths in the car

Play maths games in the car.  Add the digits of the number plate in front of you as quickly as possible. Multiply the first and last digits together. Have fun! Road signs are wonderful opportunities to identify shapes as well.

5. Mistakes are ok!

Finally, remember that mistakes are okay! The quickest way to block your child’s enjoyment and learning in Maths is to be impatient with mistakes.  A child who does not fear mistakes is more likely to pursue and solve problems effectively! Fear of making mistakes is the number one cause of children battling in Maths! Mistakes are the only way we can learn anything. So embrace the process of learning Maths, warts and all, and watch your child blossom!

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