Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Teaching your Kids to Love Mathematics

What was the first cognitive skill you taught your kids? Most likely, it’s counting, ayt? mathematics_concepts
However, how many of us have realized later how our kids hate mathematics, algebra or anything that has to do with math problems? You need not blame yourself. Because difficulties in learning mathematics or number concepts are often less understood than any other cognitive skills such as writing, reading, and verbal reasoning.

The culprit in most cases is our failure as parents or guardians to rouse the interest of our kids towards a fun learning of numbers and their associated concepts. Math word problems, for example, if viewed to be a fun way of looking at common problems would be easier to learn and solve. Alright, I am not a pedagogue expert here. Nevertheless, what I am trying to share here is that, mathematics when a young kids mind is aroused can actually be fun and not rigorous, as they would perceive it.

Kids, more often, need to like and love certain things in order for them to do them well and for fun. I must confess, the difficulty lies in making them like and love these things. I would suggest that you begin by showing them those numerical exercises or lessons, for example solving algebra word problems, are exciting, thrilling, and exhilarating. They are not to be views as tasks difficult to perform but games fun to play.

In my case with my 3-year old son, I always take anything that may present itself as a learning opportunity rather than making him sit with me and do his numbers. More often, math answers are easily recalled this way. For example, when I am preparing his breakfast, I would lead him to count the items in the table. Notice the word ‘lead.’ I don’t teach him per se, but lead him to learn the basic concept of counting.

Alright, that’s my piece. What’s yours?