Math anxiety is pretty common. In a recent nation-wide survey, it was found that a majority of Americans have difficulty applying math in every-day situations, and nearly one-third of the population would rather clean bathrooms than solve a math problem! On the other hand, nearly all Americans agreed that having good math skills was important to being successful in life.
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy for a math-fearing population to teach their children to love math. And while many parents feel anxious about teaching math at home, it is at home that children can learn good math skills and form positive associations with the subject. Fortunately, there are simple ways to help your child build a good foundation in math and make it less intimidating:
Pre-math activities with your preschooler:
To build a strong understanding of math concepts, it is necessary to start early. A preschooler who doesn’t understand one-to-one correspondence will find it difficult to understand what numbers stand for. Even before your child begins school, simple preschool math activities will help your child develop strong pre-math skills. Activities like matching socks, sorting objects based on color or size, and placing a single object in each cell of an ice tray are some great pre-math activities that you can do at home with your young learner.
Math games online:
Every child loves playing games online. Instead of worrying whether your child would be better off doing something else, use this hobby to your advantage. Introduce your child to cool math games like Math Blaster, which help kids practice math skills while having fun. Online math games like these are proven to improve a child’s fluency with math facts and help develop logical thinking, spatial reasoning, problem solving and other math-related skills. Designed much like popular commercial video games, these fun math games keep kids coming back for more.
Much like fun online math games, math apps help kids develop an interest in and a liking for the subject. They have the added advantage of being portable, making them perfect for waiting rooms and long road trips. You can choose from a wide variety of free math apps designed for kids of all ages. These math apps focus on age-appropriate math skills and are effective in getting kids to practice the math skills they need to excel in school.
Math games at home:
You don’t need an electronic gadget to make math fun. There are many fun math games that are great for practicing math at home with your child. ‘Sum War’ is an adapted version of the card game ‘War’, and is a popular game for practicing addition. Two players divide a deck in half and play by turning over the top two cards of the deck simultaneously. The player with the bigger sum takes all four cards. In case of a tie, the players go to war by putting two cards face down on top of the tied cards and two cards face up above that. The player with the higher sum takes all twelve cards! At the end of the game, the player with the most cards wins. This game can also be adapted to practice subtraction and multiplication as well. Look online or ask your friends for other great ideas on practicing math while having fun at home.
Fun math games, whether online or otherwise allow kids to work on their math skills without the fear of messing up. They are also a great way to associate math with fun and good times, the perfect mindset for developing a lifelong love for the subject.
Author Bio –
Corinne Jacob is a professional writer who creates fun learning material for young kids. Convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun, Corinne is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. She is often found “testing” cool math games for kids.
Image courtesy of Jimmie via creative commons license, some rights reserved.