A phenomenal degree of brain development in human beings occurs by the age of 5. This is the phase when the brain is exceptionally receptive to learning, which usually reflects in the rather insatiable sense of curiosity among children right from the days spent in the crib. The drive to understand the language of the Universe, i.e. Mathematics or to overrule its importance altogether also happens by this age.
The importance of math in everyday life is unquestionable making it imperative for parents to ensure that learning as a systemized process starts as soon as possible. However, parents are often seen struggling while gaining and maintaining the attention of the little ones on the subject especially when it comes making them apply their skills to solve common problems or remembering sequences by heart.
Why conventional classroom approach is taking a backseat…
Over the past couple of decades, it has been seen that the traditional approach to classroom learning has been taking a dramatic backseat. This is mostly owed to the fact that children respond significantly better to ‘something creative’ and ‘something fun’ in comparison with the typical sense of duty or responsibility that they sense in classrooms.
Statements like ‘…study or you will fail your grades…’ often intimidate children to developing a sense of guilt, shame and latent detestation than developing a natural sense of curiosity and love for Math. The aim of all parents and teachers should be directed towards making their children ‘want to learn Mathematics’ than accept it temporarily as a ‘necessary evil’.
The good news is… the fun approach to developing natural curiosity of children towards Math per se, is not very difficult after all…
The fun Approach…
The fun approach to Math does not indicate minimizing the importance of the subject or its scope. It is basically the same cake served in a different plate that is more compatible with children. Any time is a good time to commence with this approach and yes, this also includes the crib.
Here are a few points that can help you get a clearer picture of the matter…
- Knit Math with games –
Math based games is not new. It has been around for way longer than you think. Games based on numbers, logic, problem solving as well as quizzes are smart ways to develop math-compatibility in your children.
- Encourage mental math in everyday activities –
This can be as easy as asking your toddler to get 5 cookies from the jar. This way, the young ones learning how to count will be able to apply the same in everyday activities and thus develop a strong sense of compatibility with math.
- Reading fun books / poems based on basic math –
The ‘farmer and his ten sons’ and similar poems can motivate children to understand math from a fun point of view. A number of inspired writers of the preset days have introduced a range of story books that are directed towards improving mathematic competence and cognizance in children while keeping their curiosity and will to learn at the highest.
- Bake a cake –
3 cups of flour; 3 large eggs; 2 spoons of baking powder, 3 sticks of butter etc; children have often been seen enjoying helping their parents in kitchen. Requesting their assistance with the ingredients that can be measured can help the young minds get more attuned with numbers.
- Let them make payments –
While shopping at the local departmental stores for basic grocery, let your little one deal with the cashier. Asking them to help you make payments not only enhances their self confidence but also makes them want to engage in such activities more frequently. They would love to add, subtract and count the change with heightened alertness and responsibility. This is one of the best ways to have your child engage productively with mathematics.
- Use fun gadgets –
It is in the DNA of humans to be curious about tools. Thus, using the right tools can be your best companions in helping your child get compatible with math. As far as babies of 6 to 18 months year are concerned, you can always keep them engaged with Bright and colorful shape puzzles. Cognitive mathematics and logic develops in the crib.
For children between 18 months to 36 months or even 4 years for that matter, you can introduce colorful abacus, child friendly tab, computers and many more. Tasks as simple as handing over your phone to your child and asking him / her to help you dial a certain number can improve their inclination towards numbers dramatically.
- A professional tutor –
For parents who cannot devote as much time towards their children’s learning / education because of their profession or other urgent commitments, hiring professional tutors from recognized institutions can help improve dedication of children in academics per se.
There are a number of institutions these days that offer assistance based on newer and fun way of learning which has been working phenomenally well with the budding little geniuses. Besides these there are so many professional online help sites to assist you.
Things to remember…
Even with the best of child friendly methods in improving mathematical competency, there are still a few factors that can cause a slack in the process. To make mathematics interesting to the child, parents may read 7 Secret Hacks to Make Mathematics. Easy At all times, parents need to be aware about the pitfalls that can cause a child to develop distaste for mathematics…
- Positive encouragement over Negative –
Never compare, never demoralize, never tempt with rewards, and never guarantee better future… math should be loved for the sake of it. This is the only way get the best of attention from children. It has been proven through research that children who want to do better in math for the sake of it actually improve many times more than those who make their attempts after being pressurized with grades.
- Proper nutrition –
Brain foods go a very long way in improving the performance of neurons which further helps children stay in focus and work their grey matter without too much effort. Balanced diet, water intake and physical exercise contribute massively in this direction.
- Take behavioral conditions into serious consideration –
Mathematics call for ultimate focus and attention. Therefore, children with Attention Deficit Disorders, hyperactivity etc can find it difficult to understand or gain interest in this subject. If any children have been showing signs of these conditions, parents must act to address the same without delay.