Having a good attitude is essential in being successful with math! Start now and use these strategies to raise your child to not HATE math but LIKE it!
1. Apply It; Use It– A topic is never interesting if it doesn’t have a purpose. For example, use cooking to demonstrate fractions, money for decimals, the grocery store for unit rate, toys for counting, real-life shapes for geometry, and more. Make sure YOU are doing math so your child can see how practical and helpful it is.
2. Encourage trial and error- Growth in math relies on failing. Failure is GOOD in math if you learn from it! My students learn more when they fail and are interested in fixing what they did wrong than those who just want to be right and move on. Give your child a challenge, let them try FIRST, then give them tools to try AGAIN, and lastly walk through the correct way to solve the problem.
For example, I was working with my son on identifying his numbers. He saw the picture of 9 and couldn’t tell me the number. I told him to try it. He said, “Well, it’s green.” I told him that’s true and to try to remember the number again. He said “Six?”. I replied, “I see why you think that looks like 6 but that’s not it”. We started counting and I stopped at 8. He continued to 9 and said that’s it.
3. It’s not about you- Let me say it again, it is not about you! Make sure you’re not setting an example of a BAD attitude!!!! It doesn’t matter if you hate math or were not good at it. STOP talking badly about math!
4. Related to something interesting- I had a student a few years ago who was a fanatic about a certain TV show. He knew every fact about the characters and episodes. I would translate test questions about fractions and decimals and use the characters from the show. His brain took off like a wildfire and the problem seemed less foreign to him.
5. Get physical- Model or demonstrate a math problem as much as possible. Visuals and hands on practice are vital to exploring, understanding, and retaining math concepts.