Monday, December 11, 2023

What to Do If Your Child Just Doesn't "Get" Math


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Is your child often to be found sitting at the kitchen table, staring at a math problem like it’s written in ancient hieroglyphics? You’ve explained it five different ways, including an interpretive dance, and yet, they still don’t "get" it. Before you start wondering if they’ve inherited some rare anti-math gene, take a deep breath. Math can be a tough nut to crack for many kids, but cracked it can be as you will see below…

1. Math Tutors: The Math Whisperers

Online math tutors are a godsend and should probably be your first port of call. These wonderful humans have the patience of a saint and the math skills of a NASA scientist. They can explain things in ways that make the lightbulb not just turn on, but practically burst with enlightenment - good, right?

2. Make It Fun: Math Games Galore

Who said math has to be boring? There are tons of math games out there that turn learning into a fun adventure for even the most math-hating of children. Apps, board games, online programs – you name it. It’s kinda like sneaking veggies into a smoothie; they won’t even know they’re learning.

3. Real-World Math: More Useful Than You Think

Show them how math applies to real life, and it will instantly become, not only mor interesting but more accessible too. Bake a cake and let them measure the ingredients. Go shopping and have them calculate discounts. It’s like a covert math operation, and they’re the secret agent.

4. Encourage, Don’t Discourage

Keep the encouragement flowing if you want your kids to keep trying. Math can be frustrating, and hearing “it’s easy, just focus” is about as helpful as a chocolate teapot. Celebrate their efforts, not just the outcomes. It’s the math journey, not the destination, that counts.

5. Break It Down: Bite-Sized Math Snacks

It’s never a bad idea to break problems down into smaller, more manageable pieces for your kids. Sometimes a math problem can look as intimidating as a giant burger; you need to slice it up to make it easier to tackle.

6. Visual Aids: A Picture Speaks a Thousand Numbers

Use visual aids. Diagrams, drawings, even physical objects can help make abstract concepts more concrete, and often, more fun too.

7. Change the Scenery: Math on the Move

Sometimes a change of scenery can work wonders for little ones and their ability to grasp things. Take the math homework outside, to a cafĂ©, anywhere that’s not the same old spot where frustration has been building. It’s like a math field trip.

8. Online Resources: The Internet Isn’t Just for Cat Videos

Utilize online resources if you are not doing so already. There are websites galore dedicated to helping kids with math, from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus. It’s like having a digital math library at your fingertips.

9. Patience, Patience, and More Patience

Last, but certainly not least, and most importantly of all, have patience. Lots of it. Like, more than you ever thought you could muster. Every child learns at their own pace, and that’s okay. They’re not mathematically challenged; they’re just on their own unique math journey.

As you can see, with a bit of creativity, patience, and maybe a tutor’s magic touch, your child can conquer the math thing once and for all. 

*This is a contributed post

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