I have always been a little stressed with maths as a subject, but as a home education mum I have had to face my fears and this guest post on how to love maths Jon Goga, math tutor and founder of BrainySpinach Math is helpful for anyone who, like me, doesn’t think they can master or even enjoy maths.
Unfortunately, Maths Anxiety is a thing. Some children can be left lacking confidence in the subject to such an extent that they try to avoid doing anything Maths-related. Having Maths Anxiety does not mean that your child is bad at Maths; many children that could potentially be gifted mathematicians are let down by the way they are being taught. Finding a learning style that fits them is what is required. It is worth trying fun.
Here are some simple and effective ways you can help your child learn to enjoy and love Maths:
Applaud learning and effort
Let them understand that it’s not about getting the right answer. Praise the learning and effort instead. Put emphasis on the effort it took them to get to where they are. Praise them for not giving up, for trying a new method, and for their interest in Maths.
They need to understand that it’s not about getting the answer right, it’s understanding the logic behind the problem. This is how they develop a growth mindset.
If they say, “it’s hard”, tell them that it just means that their brain is working. Hard work is tough! Instead, we should help them to look at it in a fun way, suggest ways they can work out the problem, this helps to get their brain working hard and results in the brain expanding to fit in the new concept.
Play online maths games
Speaking of making Maths fun, this is a fantastic way to get them enjoying Maths. Video games have often got a bad reputation, but in recent years, a lot has changed. The age of ‘edutainment’ has come: the combination of education and entertainment. Your child can gleefully play through games whilst learning and practicing their Maths problems.
A great example of this is BrainySpinach Math; they teach kids aged 7-11 Mathematics through fun and innovative free Roblox games so that they no longer fear Maths and are prepared for STEM vocations. This is all about meeting them where they are already having lots of fun – as that’s the way to help learning.
The Maths Teacher “BrainySpinach” also hosts free and entertaining Livestreams regularly on YouTube, playing through his and other educational games on Roblox with the “BrainySpinach Squad”. They welcome anyone else that wants to join in! Suffice to say, students love it, and many parents report back that their child’s Maths Anxiety has all but vanished after just a few hours with BrainySpinach.
Shift to the logic
When your child gets a Maths problem wrong, harsh approaches such as using criticism and shame don’t work and will negatively impact a child’s well-being. Instead of criticising, you can make them understand that it is OK to make mistakes – these are learning opportunities.
Rather than focusing on the wrong answer, shift to the logic of the problem and help them to understand that first. Ask them to explain the problem as simply as possible. Avoid offering too much help, instead help them to start to independently solve the problem.
Patience is key, especially as they might not even be used to a patient adult going at their pace, having only experienced one they can’t keep up with.
Combine maths and art
Maths art projects let kids be creative while also teaching them mathematical concepts. There are many art activities that incorporate Maths. We can see Maths in artistic crafts such as music, dance, painting, architecture, pottery and many others.
These activities engage your child’s creativity and make learning a joy! There are activities available for children of all ages and skill levels. The best part about all these Maths art projects is that they get “Maths kids” thinking about art and “art kids” thinking about Maths! It’s a win-win for all sides.
Avoid badmouthing maths
Some parents hated Maths in school and are prone to saying so, often to sympathise with their child. However, we shouldn’t talk about how much we hated Maths or how difficult it can be around our kids. Let’s talk about how much fun Maths can be, link it to real-life situations, and make it more exciting for them.
For example, cooking and baking are great ways to show your kids how Maths applies to life outside of the classroom. Reading recipes, discussing fractions, and talking about how to double a recipe or cut one in half.
Maths is important, for all kinds of reasons, including some form of Maths being used by 94% of all workers (68% use fractions, decimals, and percentages) . To get your child to love Maths, you must change the way they see Maths. Fun is the universal learning language for all kids, and it is not used as often as it should be. Use this technique well, and you will soon find that Maths worries are a thing of the past.
ABOUT BRAINYSPINACH MATH
Jon Goga is a math tutor and founder of BrainySpinach Math, on a mission to help inspire children everywhere to catch up with their learning today so they succeed tomorrow. BrainySpinach Math creates fun and exciting online games on the Roblox platform for children to play that teach them essential math skills, all while inspiring them to learn by playing games they love – and allowing parents to ensure their child’s screentime is always productive. BrainySpinach Math is also the creator of the Roblox Math Camp – a course that has children learning math while playing said tutor-created Roblox Math games. https://brainyspinach.com/
Tutorful (UK only): https://tutorful.co.uk/classes?q=roblox