How do you make maths easy?
When teaching our kids maths, we have aspirations for their education and how we can impact it in a positive way. How do we make maths engaging, fun and memorable? How do we teach them numbers in a way that will serve them for their future study, careers and employment?
How can we engage our kids when learning maths?
The answer is simple. Teach them maths using research-proven methodology, hands-on tools and a sense of humour. There's a whole lot more that can be added there, but let's leave it there to to keep it simple.
Do you enjoy teaching maths?
This is a simple question, but one that is important to answer honestly. Does maths and numbers excite you? Do you understand maths and the way to use numbers?
Or are you overwhelmed with the subject? Did you hate maths at school and are terrified of teaching it to your kids now?
That's a great place to start, because your child will definitely pick up on the way you teach maths. Guaranteed. If you love the subject, they'll be excited about it too. If you're dreading the moment you have to pull out the maths books to fulfil your homeschool curriculum requirements, they'll know that too.
If you are one of those mums who don't know how to teach such a complex subject and need some hands-on help, you can check out our specific Parent Trainings here.
We've created these live online Trainings so that parents can have the step-by-step methods and tools on how to teach maths and be able to confidently share this with their kids. We've had so much good feedback from these sessions, and even mum's who are still finger counting themselves have been able to successfully teach algebra to their kids!
We've all been there before. We've all struggled to teach maths and have felt pressured to find a way of making maths engaging and exciting for our kids.
The thing is, it doesn't have to be hard.
Once you have the support you need, and know how to teach the concepts to your kids, you'll be up and away in no time. You'll be the new favourite in the classroom, because you'll be able to share maths in a fun and exciting way with your kids.
Here's a few more easy tips to teach your kids maths. It makes maths easy, and it makes your job as the teacher much more enjoyable when your kids are having fun!
1. Encourage Humour and Giggles
Maths is meaningful and necessary. We could approach it with a no nonsense attitude or as our very own Mr. Demme displays time and time again, you can welcome giggles and smiles into the lesson. Put on your best funny voice and read word problems, put on a mini play to act them out, or break out the art supplies to draw them. Take a moment to create fun stories or jokes for the problems. Most importantly enjoy maths with your kids!
2. Say NO to Negativity
Self-confidence is key to captivating children. Spotlight the positive aspects of a child's work to encourage them. Research has proven that when an educator truly believes that every child is capable of maths mastery it makes a huge difference in your kid's outcomes. Regardless of their progress, encourage them and provide reassurance that you believe in them!
3. Include Maths Games and Activities
Purposeful games and activities are an incredible tool to introduce a fun element into your maths lessons. There are a tremendous number of options available to purchase. Pay Pinterest a visit for a wealth of DIY ideas too. Some children enjoy creating their own games, problems, and activities. There's an app for that too, check out your App store to review all of the fun educational apps available. The best maths related games and activities address skill development and provide lots of fun for kids!
Check below, there's also a fee download of 100 Maths Activities that you can do with your kids!
4. Make Sure You're Teaching at your Child's Pace
Children learn at individual paces and thats okay! Maths is sequential so when a child rushes from concept to concept without achieving mastery they tend to struggle with more difficult concepts later. More importantly, your child is deprived of the joy of understanding. Following your child's pace allows them to engage, grapple, and enjoy the excitement of the lightbulb moments when they "get it".
5. Be Excited when They Get it Right!
Be sure to acknowledge those moments when the lightbulb goes off and when your child "gets it". Pause and revel in the joy of learning. Expressing this excitement and joy with your kids will help them to develop a lifelong love of learning!
Whether we are teaching in a classroom or at the kitchen table, we have aspirations for our kids and their education, including making lessons fun and memorable! Share some of your favourite tips to make maths fun!
6. Celebrate their Progress
No matter how small, celebrate improvements. Acknowledging progress along the way is just as important as reaching the end goal of maths mastery. A simple "way to go" goes a long way. Accolades are best when you can frame it around your child and not as a judgement from the teacher or parent. Some easy phrases to incorporate are "You did it!" or "You got it!" Even better link it to a specific concept or task.
Example: "Outstanding! You were able to correctly compute 36 facts on today's maths drill. That is 5 more than earlier this week!"
7. Encourage Mastery of maths
Whether your child achieves mastery on the very first worksheet or later in a lesson, celebrate it! Each child is unique and so is their journey to maths mastery. For a large task, such as mastering the multiplication facts, a pat on the back and a "well done" may be suitable for one child. While a special meal, treat or prize may be in order for a child who took several months to achieve the same goal. In all instances, celebrate mastery so that your child feels the fulfilment and joy of learning.
Want some more maths activities?
Here's some of our favourite maths activities that can be shared with your kids to engage them in the best way possible - through fun and games! Kids love playing games (didn't we all?!??) so we've made a list of 100 Maths Activities that you can do with them. No pressure, it might take you the next year to complete the list!
Here's the free download:
If you want to check out our entire maths program behind this methodology, you'll find that teaching such a complex subject as maths can really be simple and easy.
The Math-U-See program is designed for parents to teach effective maths by using a step-by-step process of teaching that covers Primary to Grade 12 Maths. You can check out the full program and Math-U-See levels here.
Hope it helps!
The Team at Maths Australia