Math Is Just Another Language: Here’s How To Teach It

Homeschooling your kids can be stressful. But teaching them math is a challenge for many parents, especially math phobic ones. For some people, numbers are a veritable nightmare. They’re the scariest thing in the world. What if you approached teaching math as a language that needed understanding?

Some curriculum makes that not always possible. Sometimes you have to be brave and get on with the job.  There are some ways you can take this the math as a language approach no matter the curriculum you use.

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 what your child’s learning style is and teach to their developmental level. Asking them for the square root of 147 is part of the story. But you also need to develop their brain to think of math as a powerful story.

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Make Math As A Language 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.  This is especially great for children with autism who think in pictures.

Make Math As A Language 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.  If you have a math phobic child who feels incompetent then math is the last thing they want to learn.

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. You have to show them real world life scenarios where math will help them. Cooking, making change, playing games, or using math to determine something they want are just a few ways to make it relevant. Real world math is just as important as imaginary numbers and physics.

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 in the long run. The thing that really matters is understanding where the formulas come from and why they are the way that they are. 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. Logical kids, such as ones with autism, will always do better when they know the why and the how as opposed to the steps.

Reward Progress

Rewarding progress is a tricky business when you’re homeschooling. You don’t want candy to be the go-to choice. Rewarding progress is a cornerstone of ABA therapy but it can be used in other places as well.

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 challenge with a prize at the end of it. You could take your kids to the science museum if you’re in the city – always a lot of fun. Cooking is a great way to reward progress because you get to eat it at the end.

There are so many ways you can teach math without fear and trepidation. Like with everything homeschooling you just have to think outside the box. Pretty soon your family will be in a groove and your child will be flourishing.

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