Let’s face it. Mathematics is an important part of your child’s curriculum. While we may often jokingly question how in the world are trigonometry or geometry of any use in our everyday life, we cannot deny the fact that Maths and its many elements contribute in developing the analytical, deductive and calculative abilities of a student as early as when one is in primary school.
Which brings us to the problem most closely associated with studying the subject, the fear of Maths. But to be clear, it’s not so much a fear of learning the subject as it is that of not understanding it. Being a practical subject, Maths tends to get tricky and confusing at times, hindrances that, if not dealt with the right way, lead to disinterest, reluctance and, eventually, fear of the subject. But, things aren’t that bleak yet. As a parent, there is so much you can do to keep said fear at bay. Granted, it takes more than just casual supervision to get your child to know the interesting side to the subject, but seeing them struggle less with a crucial part of their academics will be worth the effort, we promise.
Here are a few ways to get your child to worry less about Maths each day:
Understand the problem at hand: As a parent, the first step you want to take is to understand where the fear or anxiety for the subject is stemming from. If the primary source of your child’s knowledge of Maths is their school, please know that schools function on a schedule, with a pre-assigned curriculum, owing to which, individual problems and hurdles can get overlooked by educationists as well.
If your kid is having a tough time dealing with Maths, or any subject for that matter, get a grasp of your child’s understanding of it. Do they look forward to Maths period? Do they have doubts in class? Are they able to ask them? At the risk of seeming like too protective a parent, you might also want to have a chat with the teacher in charge.
Devote time, attention and most importantly, empathetic support: If you get answers that worry you, first and foremost, know that your child and you are on the same team. Instead of questioning them, involve them in a discussion. You can begin by letting them know the truth: Maths is just a bunch of puzzles with varying difficulty levels. And then, offer to solve them together. Working on their Maths with them will be great on so many levels. You get to spend time together, you start understanding your kid and their problems better, and you can make it a regular activity with them.
However, before you get too excited about the upcoming bonding time, know that it will not be all sunflowers and daisies. Prepare yourself to be equally confused at times, to feel angry or frustrated or helpless sometimes. Be patient, at times like these.
Use the boon of technology to your advantage: Maths is all about understanding, discovering patterns and making connections. And to help your kid do that, you have the mighty internet at your service. A simple search on Google will give you a list of apps that are designed to exercise your kid’s mathematical thinking abilities and some are even based on school curriculum formats to help them get ample practice!
Encourage your kid’s curiosity and willingness to learn: The fear of a subject often tends to subdue the natural curiosity that kids innately possess. Make efforts towards ensuring that this curiosity stays alive. Encourage them to ask questions and their doubts, but more importantly, be willing to listen to them and try your best to answer. Know that your kid is only making progress when they ask questions. An active and stimulated brain is the best tool for good Maths skills.