Homeschooling your kids is stressful enough. But teaching them math – that’s a challenge too far for many parents. For some people, numbers are a veritable room 101. They’re the scariest thing in the world. You’d do anything to stay away from them.
The curriculum being what it is, though, that’s not always possible. Sometimes you have to be brave and get on with the job.
Teaching math, though, is just as much an art as it is a technical skill. You need to know the material, but you also need to understand how kids learn. Asking them for the square root of 147 is part of the story. But you also need to develop powerful educational tools to help them along. They’ll learn more, and you will make your life a lot easier.
Are you struggling to teach math? Here are some strategies you can use that your kids will love.
Make Math Visual
Mathematicians didn’t start with symbols like 1, 2, and 3. Instead, they began with observations. They saw that if you had three bricks, you have one more than if you had two. It was only later that they figured out that they could represent the real world on parchment.
Making maths visual, therefore, can be a great way to teach elementary concepts. Show your kid a selection of blocks and then get them to perform calculations. They’ll soon get the hang of it. Later, once they’ve understood the basics, try combining it with symbols.
Make Math Relevant
For some kids, math is just fun for the sake of it, like a crossword. But for others, they can struggle to see the benefit. And when that happens, their motivation to learn about the subject goes out of the window.
Making math relevant, therefore, is a significant priority. You want to connect it to things in the real world that will motivate your child to expend effort getting to grips with the concept. Try to find real-world examples wherever possible. If you’re stuck, there are dozens of books out there that can help you.
Never Teach A Child To Memorize Formulas
While memorizing formulas might be par for the course for a lot of math students, it doesn’t help them. The thing that really matters is understanding where the formulas come from and why they are the way that they are. And we’re not just talking in terms of passing exams either. When a kid really gets to grips with the nuts and bolts of a subject, it makes it more enjoyable.
Rewarding progress is a tricky business when you’re homeschooling. You don’t want candy to be the go-to choice.
Some parents try to reward their kids learning by doing something associated with it that is a treat. So, for instance, you could create a math-based orienteering challenge with a prize at the end of it. Or you could take your kids to the science museum if you’re in the city – always a lot of fun.