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The manner in which the subject is taught - through conventional education methods, which many students quote as ‘boring and trite’ – contributes to children's dislike of maths.
My friend was telling me how her son struggled with mathematics, even though he is still in elementary school.
Mathematics is a subject that many children dislike, but are forced to study. However, after a day’s worth of research, mothers, I have found four ways for children to excel at mathematics!
I hope this helps your children do better in the subject. You can’t coerce them to like it, but you can help them understand it better, and in the process, they may actually enjoy it!
If your children struggle to comprehend complex mathematical concepts, or even basic ones, then they’re not the only one! According to UNESCO’S SDG report released in 2022, only 12.3% of Indian students, aged between 10 and 16, are well-versed in mathematics.
Not everyone has an affinity for numbers and formulas. However, it is possible to improve your prowess in mathematics, as it is not about talent, but logic, practice and reasoning. Anyone can be good at maths, by using the following techniques.
Mathematics and fun are two words that seem hard to be associated with each other, for a child who dislikes or grapples with comprehending the subject.
The manner in which the subject is taught – through conventional education methods, which many students quote as ‘boring and trite’ – is a contributing factor. But surprisingly, EdTech platforms have found a way to make the subject enjoyable through instructional games.
Games have proved to have a positive impact on learning among students. Through game based learning, intricate concepts are divided into smaller concepts and taught via online games, with constant engagement and instant feedback. This caters to the short attention spans of students, with the aim of increasing comprehension levels.
Games provide the opportunity to explore the subject, and focus on authentic problems like conceptual maths. Hence, inculcating the habit of learning the subject through DragonBox Numbers, Khan Academy, Elevate: Brain Training, and Brilliant is worth trying.
These books are usually based on the philosophy of Vedic Mathematics, targeted for an advanced level of understanding. They provide tips, tricks, and techniques to solve mathematical problems. Detailed methods and multiple techniques used to solve questions, with explanations of the logic for using them, are mentioned.
The result of using these books is – improved speed in problem-solving, better memory, and less reliance on calculators. Studying these books will effectively help solve complex problems, and these come in handy while preparing for school tests or competitive exams.
This small device with beads that can be moved upwards and sideways has been proven to help boost mathematical skills. Regularly using the device ensures that the brain does not forget anything that has been learned, as it does not rely on overloading information.
Another technique called mental abacus, where the tool is visualised, and the calculation is performed mentally, results in a better understanding of place values and arithmetic. Students who have learned abacus have been known to perform better in their maths tests. They have become sharper, have better concentration and improved photographic memory. Such children do not use rough sheets, as they can solve complex problems like square and cube roots easily.
Many students suffer from math phobia, or fear of mathematics. This can become a roadblock in the learning process and during the examination. The symptoms are, lack of confidence, panic behaviour, paranoia, and passive behaviour. Students have preconceived notions about the results of their exams, and this prevents them from performing their best. Therefore, students should overcome their fear by regularly putting themselves in a simulated environment, so that they can desensitise themselves.
In addition, students must familiarise themselves with the basics of the subject, as the subsequent concepts will be much harder. This could lead to further anxiety. Students also avoid asking questions about the subject, either during or after class. It would be beneficial, if your children could take the initiative to have all their queries resolved before the exam, which will help them feel confident of their knowledge and preparation.
Though this recommendation is a no-brainer, mathematics is not a subject that can be memorised. Being aware of how to solve the questions, applying the correct reasoning and formula to deduce the answer is possible only after rigorous practising.
Ask you kids to try solving as many questions available on the topic, obtained from different legitimate textbooks or sources. Categorising the questions based on their level of difficulty and regularly solving them will eventually assist in understanding areas of struggle for respective topics. While, practice will make it easier for your children to rectify their errors during their later stages of preparation.
In conclusion, though mathematics, maybe a difficult subject, attending tutoring and classroom sessions will not suffice or necessarily enhance your child’s mathematical skills. It is paramount for children to overcome their anxiety, by engaging with the subject, seeking out apps or platforms that provide enhanced learning experiences to reach their full potential.
Image source: YouTube
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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When I was in Grade 10, I flunked my first preliminary examination in Mathematics. My mother was in a panic. An aunt recommended the Maths classes conducted by the Maths sir she knew personally. It was a much sought-after class, one of those classes that you signed up for when you were in the ninth grade itself back then, all those decades ago. My aunt kindly requested him to take me on in the middle of the term, despite my marks in the subject, and he did so as a favour.
Math had always been a nightmare. In retrospect, I wonder why I was always so terrified of math. I’ve concluded it is because I am a head in the cloud person and the rigor of the step by step process in math made me lose track of what needed to be done before I was halfway through. In today’s world, I would have most probably been diagnosed as attention deficit. Back then we had no such definitions, no such categorisations. Back then we were just bright sparks or dim.
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