Most of us would love to turn our kids into math lovers, but math is a tough subject to teach for many homeschooling parents and a difficult one to learn for most students. Math covers a pretty broad range of concepts. And while it is not necessary to master them all, it is essential that students have good understanding of a majority of math concepts. They should understand how to apply those basic math concepts to everyday life.
Math is not simply addition, subtraction, multiplication and division… it is a lot more than that. You will find practical usage of various math concepts in your daily lives. You will find math in your kitchen. It’s there when you go shopping, buy meals at any restaurants, play or watch any sport. Math can be found in LEGO bricks and computer coding. You’ll find math when you take a family trip on the road. You get the point! Math is everywhere in your daily lives.
Math concepts build on previous learning. It is very important to have a strong foundation of each math concept in order to succeed in a higher grade level math. Math is actually pretty easy to learn with the right approach and right toolset. Below are 3 easy steps you can take to build that strong foundation and turn kids into math lovers regardless of their current level.
1. Each Child is Unique
Working with several different students in different grades over the years, I have learned that every child is unique in the way they process information and learn. It is important to spend some time understanding what works and what doesn’t, what they like and what they don’t. Understanding your child’s learning style, strengths, and areas of struggle with help you teach them more effectively.
Here are some of the learning styles you should consider:
- Is your child an independent learner who likes to go explore things with just a little guidance from you? Or does he learn best when someone actually teaches him?
- Does your child like technology based learning? Does she like visual stimulation and audio instruction?
- Does your child require frequent review lessons where he can go back and review or re-learn whenever necessary?
- Does your child learn best when you put the math problems in context using real-life examples?
- Does your child learn best when she can see, feel, hold objects such as blocks, pennies, and other math learning tools?
- Does your child learn best from traditional textbooks?
- Does your child learn best in a group setting where he interact with peers and/or siblings?
- Does your child learn best in a quite setting or does she need external stimulation with soft music or something similar?
- Does your child learn best when he talks out loud?
In most cases, you will find that kids use a combination of multiple learning styles. Work with your child and pick a learning style or combination of learning styles that work most effectively and tailor the math curriculum that addresses the unique needs of your child. Create an environment that is comfortable and aids leaning. A child who is an auditory learner yet is trying to learn math online will understandably dislike the subject. One way to turn kids into math lovers is to find their favourite way to learn and teach to that.
Research and Select the Right Curriculum
Once you have identified what learning style or a combination of learning styles work best for your child, research the curriculum that caters to this learning style. There are a number of options available, and it takes a bit of time to find the right curriculum but it’s well worth the few hours you spend doing this. It’s going to go a long way to make it easier for your child to learn math and build a strong foundation.
Finding the right curriculum may require trying several out to see which one turns your kid into a math lover. Many curriculum publishers provide free samples and even FREE trials online with no risk… try them! You can also read homeschool reviews and talk to your friends about how their kids learn and which math curriculum has worked best for them.
Another thing you should consider in your research is the contents covered in each grade level. It is important for you to know what is expected at each grade level and make sure the curriculum you select adequately covers those core math concepts. Just because it is easy or fun does not mean your student is learning at the right grade level. It is easy to find out what is expected at each grade level and compare that to the contents covered by the curriculum publisher in each grade level. Many math programs also offer assessments for your child to take so you can place them within the right grade level.
Invest in Your Child’s Future
When I say invest, I don’t mean to say you need to break your bank account towards math. It simply means you keep up with your students. Work with them regularly so you understand how well things are working for them and you are well informed about the progress and areas of struggle. It doesn’t take much of your time with the right curriculum. Many computer-based curricula provide automatic grading and easy to read progress reports at a click of a button. If a computer-based curriculum is not an option for you, there are other ways to track student progress manually as long as you have a curriculum set that includes the right tools in addition to the lessons, such as workbooks and solution guides.
What helps your kids learn math? What would you suggest to help turn kids into math lovers?
Vinod Agrawal started tutoring math in his high school years and has continued to do this throughout his college and beyond. Even after he entered his professional career as an Engineer, he continued to tutor math because of his passion for math. He has worked with students from all walks of life and learned a lot from them while teaching them effective ways to learn math. He wanted to continue his mission where he can reach thousands or even millions of students. He founded A+ TutorSoft Inc. where he offers multi-sensory A+ Interactive Math program which makes learning math fun, easy and engaging for students while building a strong foundation.
Try it FREE for 1-Month: visit www.aplustutorsoft.com and click on the FREE Stuff and then select Free 1-Month Family Math Package. Get 20% off a full year of the family math package using code TheKoalaMom.
Watch this YouTube video (just under 3 minutes) for the Family Math package program tour.