How many times has your child complained about a certain math problem? Are they growing up disliking math? Do they have a hard time understanding some math concepts in school? If your answer is “Yes” to these questions, then your child is probably having a tough time with math as a subject, and it might be giving them nightmares!
But interestingly, math isn’t as scary as it sounds. Anyone can be successful and get better at math with the right kind of strategy. Your child is not bound to be bad at math just because they are struggling with basic math problems. You simply need to review the concepts and help them develop their math proficiency.
Before moving on to the tips and tricks, how about having a quick catch-up with the basic math skills that are required to explore the higher levels of math learning? Different types of calculations based on numbers, sizes, or other measures are carried out with these math skills.
Here are some of the basic math skills that will be beneficial for your child in school as well as in everyday life:
- Fractions and Decimals
- Problem Solving
- Spatial Reasoning
To improve your child’s math understanding in a fun and interesting way, simply ask them to practice with various strategies. Just keep in mind that your child is not bad at math.
Here are the top 10 suggestions and techniques we’ve compiled to help you easily assist your child in developing their math abilities and boosting their self-confidence when solving problems. 1,2,3 These strategies will help your child become more mathematically proficient while also enhancing their capacity for learning and giving you a ton of opportunities to make math enjoyable for them.
- Breaking Down Complex Problems: Does your child avoid complex math problems because they are afraid of them or find them difficult to solve? Well, don’t let them do it. Every complex math problem will have an easier way to be solved. What might help them here is to get to the core of the complex math problem, identify the concepts, isolate them, and then practice solving them. Math problems become much easier when you break down difficult math concepts and apply them to everyday life. Children who are having difficulty with complex math problems can benefit greatly from the use of manipulatives to make basic math concepts clearer.
- Solve Simple Problems First: Most of the time, math problems appear scary because of their complexity. Why not start by solving simple problems? Look for simple math problems every time a new math lesson is introduced to your child. This will not only boost their self-confidence but will also prevent their brain from tiring out by doing difficult calculations. As they start gaining confidence in their math skills, you can move ahead and get them to solve problems that are more complex.
- Game-based Learning: Getting better at math should never feel like a chore. If you find math practice becoming mundane after a certain amount of time, then try game-based learning. It’s an amazing way of learning new concepts while solidifying past lessons. Game-based learning is essential for children as it encourages them to participate, honing their curiosity to solve a particular problem. And, as their confidence improves, their motivation to learn and practice math problems also increases. Game-based learning can also make repetitive practices fun and engaging.
- Being Thorough With Basic Math Skills: Remember the list of basic math skills that you read a while ago? Those are the fundamental math skills that every child should understand thoroughly to get better at math. To be fluent in math skills, children should consistently practice and try out fun games to maintain interest. Flash cards can be quite useful when it comes to memorizing multiplication tables that are necessary for high school math problems.
- One Topic at a Time: Do you tend to skip a math lesson when you are struggling to understand? As much as it sounds like a smart escape plan, it’s not helpful in the long run. This is because math builds on itself. Every math course follows a certain order as each topic is linked with its preceding topic. Skipping various topics will have an impact on your child’s progress and, in the long run, will instill a fear of math in them. Instead, take a deep breath and don’t rush. You can get your child to practice and repeat, re-examine the concepts until they understand them, watch video tutorials, practice sample math problems, download PDFs and textbooks, and get help from a math tutor. Don’t move on to the next topic as long as they aren’t clear on the current one. Give them enough time to feel confident with the topic.
- Mental Math: Practicing mental math from a young age helps strengthen one’s math foundation. It will eventually enable you to comprehend difficult mathematical concepts more clearly. According to research,4 mental calculations enhance logical thinking as well as mental capacity. For example, calculating how much to pay at the grocery store without using a calculator. You can save a lot of time and maintain your intuitive skills when your brain is trained to solve these mathematical problems.
- Prepare a Practice Math Test: One of the best tips to help your child get better at math is to prepare them for a mock math test. Every lesson will include examples and practice questions, but a practice math test is ideal for overcoming math fear. You can simulate a test by using previous practice questions and creating a mock exam for your child to complete and setting a timer for the exam. Doing this will enable your child to overcome exam jitters and solve real exam problems ahead of time.
- Analyze and Learn from Previous Mistakes: Encourage your child to take a look at their mistakes from their homework or classwork and try to understand where they went wrong. While they might be tempted to ignore them, they can learn a lot from these mistakes. As they begin to analyze their mistakes, they will learn ways to get them right and implement them to prevent them from happening again the next time.
- Illustrate to Solve Problems: Children can sometimes understand math concepts better when they are represented by pictures. A great example of a visual representation used to teach concepts is geometry and, to some extent, trigonometry. Math problems are half as difficult to solve when you think visually. Word problems can also be solved using pictures. You can prepare the steps of the word problem and then draw pictures accordingly to help you understand better.
- Regular and Consistent Practice: The best way to improve your child’s math skills is to implement a regular practice schedule. You can start dedicating time to solving math problems each day now that you are aware of the different tips and tricks. You’ll be able to see progress in your child’s math skills as they practice more regularly.
Math problems might seem daunting at first, but as your child gains confidence in their math skills, they will excel in their lessons and tests. Various resources are available online and offline that offer tips and tricks to help children better comprehend math concepts. BYJU’s FutureSchool Blog is one such resource, with engaging and interesting articles that make math fun. Don’t believe it? Check them out right away.
- How to Get Better at Math: Take Several Easy Steps – EduBirdie.com. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/blog/how-to-get-better-at-math
- 10 Tips to Improve Maths Skills Across The Curriculum – UKEdChat. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2022, from https://ukedchat.com/2018/11/26/10-tips-improve-maths-skills/
- How to study Maths Easily? | 6 Effective Tips to Study Maths. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2022, from https://www.jagranjosh.com/articles/how-to-study-maths-easily-1542093535-1
- Pourdavood, R., Mccarthy, K., & Mccafferty, T. (2020). The Impact of Mental Computation on Children’s Mathematical Communication, Problem Solving, Reasoning, and Algebraic Thinking, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1256896.pdf