Easy strategy of teaching kids math

Children do better if learning is made fun and colourful. Net photo.

Math is not a subject that excites many kids, and if they don’t learn to love it early, chances are, they will carry that bias forward, which might lead to failure in that specific subject. Math is a subject that can be taught to kids in a fun way. This is how;

Count everyday objects. Whether a pen, book, table, birds, count anything that is around. Counting every day will make kids love doing it and yet at the same time, learn.

Teaching math begins with your child knowing numbers. You can help them learn to count with the same strategies you would be using to teach them math.

Children may respond better to memorising numbers you repeat, or may pick up numbers by seeing you count objects from one to ten. A method that may work for one of your children might not be right for another. Gauge each child individually.

Ask them random questions that will prompt them to think and give the answer. An example could be, if there are 10 apples and you give away four, how many would you remain with? Such conversations enable kids to think and calculate.  By doing so, they get interested in counting and subtraction. 

Let kids recognise numbers. Your child can’t communicate math on paper until they know what numbers look like when written. Point out the numbers to your child. For a younger child, try a number puzzle.

Ask estimation questions. Estimation questions require kids to think through a problem, it works for both younger and older kids, but you may need to adjust the question. For example, you can ask them, how many cups of water can fill a basin. For older kids, you can ask them how long it might take to fill the basin.

Write numbers down. Let your child mimic along as you write down the numbers. Alternatively, you can also write out numbers or outline them with dots or dashes and have your child trace them, then try writing the numbers on their own.

Encourage building toys. Toys, like interlocking blocks and those with pipes and joints, are a great way to get your child involved in counting. In addition, these toys help your kid move from pieces to more complex, larger ideas.

Board games will often get kids doing math without them even realising it. For instance, classic games like ladders require counting. 

Try educational apps. When you don’t usually get time to teach children math, there are ways they can learn if you download for them education apps on their computers or tablets. Some of the apps that inspire learning include; Kids’ Math, Counting Caterpillar, Math Training for Kids, Marble Math Junior, among others.

Task kids to calculate money. For example, go with them to the shops, give them a duty to add up things bought, including the money each costed. You can even go an extra mile and ask them to deduct that money from the money you gave the shop attendant, so that they tell you the balance.

Take some rest in between learning, patience is key. It might take your child a while to learn some concepts. If you are both getting frustrated, take a break and try again later.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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