Numbers, fractions, adding, subtracting, word problems, the value of ‘x’, UGH. I realize that learning every form of math from elementary school through college is a requirement, as it should be. And some of the areas of mathematics aren’t supposed to be fun. When you break them down, they really just get you used to using your brain to solve problems.
However, when we’re kids, pretty much every aspect of our lives involves fun. So when you bring math into the mix and don’t add any excitement or flair to it, we learn to hate math right from the start. This sets us up for a difficult journey of learning early on.
This is avoidable. It really comes down to using the interests of kids to teach them something new. Learning that doesn’t feel like learning is what sticks, and is the most enjoyable. Here are six ways to get every kid to fall in love with math.
1. Props & Rewards
My teachers loved using dried beans for counting exercises. Young kids are used to using their hands, so the use of props is a great way to make it feel like playtime while they learn. And if you think it wouldn’t cause too much of a distraction, use something that can also double as a reward for effort and correct answers. Maybe crayons, maybe apples, maybe marbles? Beans are fun and all, but offering a reward is also a way to demonstrate how to set personal goals.
Games are interactive and fun, and they’re the perfect setting for learning. Reading Eggs has been dominating the reading world for some time now. They’ve recently launched Math Seeds, a comprehensive online mathematics program for children aged 3-6 that offers a wide range of structured lessons and activities that build mathematical skills using number, shape, and measurement topics. If you’ve been looking for a brilliant program to increase your child’s interest in learning, Reading Eggs and Math Seeds are it. And don’t forget to use a Reading Eggs coupon code at checkout for big savings on what will most likely be the source of your child’s very bright future.
3. Real Life Scenarios
I have yet to seek out two trains with the same departure time and compare their average speeds in order to determine which train will arrive at their destination first.
We need to close the book on these ridiculous word problems that will never have any relevance in our adult lives. Use concepts that make sense to kids. Offer something like, “If it’s 3:30pm and you need to leave the house by 4:00pm in order to arrive on time to soccer practice, how many songs from One Direction’s new album do you have time to listen to?” Kids aren’t into train arrival times, but they sure do love One Direction. Or so I hear?
Celebrities and famous athletes will play a role in your kids’ lives. They will become idols and they will be featured in posters on your children’s walls. Because there are so many famous faces who live destructive and questionable lives, why not introduce them to the ones who love math and understand the importance of education?
5. Fun Facts
Math holidays, funny historical math facts, use it all to make math seem cool. Everybody loves fun facts.
I don’t think money directly buys happiness, but let’s be real. Money does buy a certain level of comfort, and with comfort comes decreased stress. And less stress leads to more happiness, so it’s important for children to understand the power of money and how it will impact their lives when the time comes for them to earn it and spend it responsibly. Use it in word problems, as rewards, as props, and with all of the above to motivate kids. Because it certainly motivates adults!