1. Don't let your own Math anxiety hold your child back.
Math anxiety is a real phenomena all over the world. Research shows that mothers are more likely to pass in that feeling of “avoiding Math” on to their children, especially to girls. Hence, parents need to be conscious when they’re talking to their children about Math.
Parents should never say statements like these to their children-
“I never liked Math”
“I didn't do well in math at your age"
“I'm bad at Math”
When children get that message, their Math achievement is likely to go down. Hence, it’s suggested that you might have to fabricate your opinion on Math in order to paint a positive picture of Math in front of them.
2. Talk about Math when you're sharing everyday activities.
Sudha Swaminathan, an early childhood education professor says that children who are successful in Math have parents who point out math even in the most ordinary moments. So, you can bring up Math in your daily lives through questions like-
“How many kilometers will you travel to school in a week?”
“What is the average amount of time we spend together at home every week?”
“How much pocket money do you need per day based upon all your expenses?”
How much money will you spend if you go watch a movie on Sunday including travel, food, tickets, etc.?
3. Play Math — with board games, card games, puzzles, and more.
Research shows that children can learn Math better through play. Blocks, puzzles, UNO card games, and even video games all have some research support. The more children play any game with dice and numbered squares, the better their basic math skills get.
4. Go beyond right and wrong answers.
Avoid constantly quizzing your children and ask open-ended questions instead.
Say you and your child are sitting at a round table. You could ask, "What's the shape of this table?" But, you already know the answer, and your kids know that you know. Two better questions, Swaminathan suggests: "Why did you choose the circle for our table?" or "How do you know this table is round?"
This gets them thinking about their own thinking process, a key skill known as "metacognition."
Whether your children are in preschool stacking blocks or in high school struggling with calculus, home should be a safe place where there's "no fear in making a mistake," says Truglio. "That's basically how children learn."
“You can deliberately make a mistake and give your child a chance to correct you”, says Swaminathan.
For parents with Math anxiety, raising children provides a chance for a do-over. You can try experiencing the world through their eyes: a world that's made of Math and full of wonder.
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