You inform your child that it’s time to learn math and they groan or try to hide under their bed. While this is a fairly common scenario amongst children of all ages, it’s definitely not the best situation. Math can seem tough, but despite this misconception, it remains a core subject the application of which plays out in our daily lives. Thus, it’s up to you to make math a fun experience that your child looks forward to. But how can you change the situation and help your child stop hating math? Maybe you need to find the best online math courses or enroll a kid in a private school?
To help you answer these questions, we’ve collated some of the best tips for making math fun. But first, let’s start with the basics, shall we?
Why Do Children Hate Math?
Before we dive into handy tips for making homeschooling fun, it’s important to explore the root of the issue. Why exactly does your child dislike math? Here are some common reasons why most kids tend to shy away from this subject:
Although math isn’t exactly a difficult subject, most students perceive it as one. In some cases, they might find it difficult to grasp certain concepts due to the teaching methods being imposed upon them by their tutor. Over time, this difficulty smears their impression of the subject and they begin to hate it.
More often than not, students who believe that math is difficult may begin to experience anxiety when faced with a math problem. Math anxiety is a pretty common phenomenon that affects up to 6% of secondary school students in the UK, and its severity may range from mild tension to a strong fear of math. If your child outrightly dislikes math, it may be a result of math anxiety and you need to check it out.
Sometimes, children hate math simply because they find it uninteresting. If teaching methods don’t provide sufficient stimulation, kids are most likely to zone out during each class. Over time, they will dislike math and seek excuses to cut class.
How to Make Math Fun for Your Kids When Homeschooling
Having explored the basics, it’s time to get to the crux of the matter. How can you make math a fun, exciting experience for your kids? If you’re in need of homeschool math help, here are a few tips:
Introduce math games
Game-based learning has become increasingly popular over the past decade with over 54% of the US educators agreeing that it is a must-have approach. Educational games help boost your child’s engagement in lessons and more importantly, improve their knowledge acquisition and retention. Thus, if you’re trying to make math fun for your child, math games are a great tool to start.
You could download a few free math games onto a device and let a kid try them out. Alternatively, there are tons of DIY options worth exploring. For instance, you could host a math Bingo game or try filling a tic-tac-toe board with math problems and facts. Whether digital or DIY, math games are certainly a great way to enliven your lessons and keep your children engaged till the very end.
Use modern technology
Technology is our best guide for navigating the webbed links of today’s digital world. Although your teaching skills of a homeschooling parent may be great, technology can help broaden your child’s perspective and help them engage better with the lesson. You may decide to get children a tablet or smartphone with which they can access tons of learning resources and online homeschool math programs.
However, while technology is great for your kids, it can easily become a thorn in your flesh. Therefore, it’s important to create a balance between screen time and offline learning. Technology should be an aid, rather than the sole source of learning.
Use visual aids and pictures
There are four types of learners: visual, auditory, written, and kinesthetic. The research has shown that up to 65% of the general population are visual learners. This statistics means that there’s a huge chance that your child is a visual learner as well. If this is the case, teaching them with visual aids is the best course of action.
The use of pictures, charts, and diagrams will help engage your child and make sense of new concepts for them. At the end of the day, they’ll find the math experience refreshing and will begin to look forward to each session.
Set up daily routines
Having a math routine can help settle your child and make the subject more fun for them. This way, math would no longer be an unpleasant surprise being sprung on them but rather a part of their daily lives.
You’re probably wondering: what’s the best routine for your child? Put simply, the best routine is the one that works best with both your schedules. If you work a full-time job, you might want to fix a regular math lesson in the evenings when you’re back from work. On the other hand, if you work from home and your child is a morning person, then a 10am lesson might work just as well.
Take a hands-on approach
Don’t just teach your child about mathematical concepts; make them solve problems as well. Children tend to learn better when they’re given the chance to apply what they’ve learned. Download free math worksheets from the internet or find real-life examples of math concepts. It’ll certainly shake things up a little!
Involve your child into the teaching process
When it comes to homeschooling math, your child is the sole focus of the lesson. So, it’s important to make them a core part of the teaching process. For instance, when teaching word problems, don’t use something generic like:
“If Mr X buys 10 oranges and gives out 3, how many does he have left?“
Instead, integrate your child’s name into the word problem. You’ll earn a few giggles and more importantly, make the lesson more relatable to a kid.
Math can be a fun subject when taught right. Use these few tips to make each lesson a fun experience for your child. We certainly hope they help. Good luck!