To any person, young or old, mathematics can seem tedious and boring on a surface level, but it doesn’t have to be so! Maths is not only a necessity in our daily lives, but is also a requirement in most schools, so it only makes sense that we enjoy doing it too, right? This logic may not seem to make sense to kids, but it does make sense to us, and there are ways that we can help make it fun for our children, as well as easier to understand in some cases.
One example of such a way is to make maths a game instead of something your child feels like they have to sit still and concentrate too hard on. Now, while this could get as elaborate as teaching them how to play checkers or Monopoly, it could really be as simple as doing maths with regular, everyday objects. For instance, you could use a pile of books to signify a certain number, and ask your child to add it to another pile. This technique can be used with any kind of item you have lying around the house, and it could pique their interest as well as their understanding in topics ranging from basic addition to fractions, decimals and so on. Where the task becomes creative and stimulating, your child will be more involved and want to learn the topic.
A little known secret about children is that their pride knows no bounds. When they learn something and understand it, they will feel proud of themselves, and it is in your best interest to not only encourage that feeling, but to provoke it. Being involved in their schoolwork and helping them with homework will take you far, but a simpler and even more effective method is to get your child to teach you the maths. It sounds a bit absurd, but stay with me here. If your child believes that they are helping you (or anyone but themselves) understand a mathematical concept, it will motivate them to study and understand it better themselves, and in explaining it to another individual, they will feel more confident in their own mathematical abilities. This method applies to a child of any age, as long as you seem earnest to learn what they are learning, your child would be more than happy to teach you.
A third way to spike your child’s interest in math is by not crushing it. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s actually a very common mistake that parents make. Adults and parents often tend to imprint their own experiences of maths onto their children, and where these experiences were positive or pleasant, it works out similarly for the child as well. But where the experiences may be negative or unpleasant, the parent may be expressing a certain level of math anxiety, which their child is guaranteed to catch on to. If your child receives messages that mathematics is an unpleasant or difficult subject, it may instil a fear of maths in them, and they will lose interest in the subject without even forming their own opinions on it. To avoid this, the best thing you could do as a parent is to set an example for them, by displaying a personal confidence while completing even regular mathematical tasks, like paying a bill or setting a budget.