Are you a parent of a elementary schooler? Let’s say the truth – their parents who have never secretly or openly wished for a math prodigy are rare! We work with hundreds and thousands of parents and we know that children’s math skills are always on top priority for most. Well, this is more because of the reputation math as a subject has got. Yes, math knowledge or basic applications are vital for almost all professions today. Every career has some or the other application of math, be it fashion or space tech. Elementary school years are the time when your child can form a solid foundation for higher-level math. These years are all the more important because if a child strays away from math for any reason or develops math anxiety, they will most likely end up having some amount of struggle later too.
You as a parent can do a lot to help your elementary schooler with math. From making it the favorite subject to ensuring that they go beyond the syllabus and stay curious, you can do a lot. Here are some of our best tips that are easy to act on and will help your child immensely with elementary school math (specifically):
1. Gamify to win the game of math!
Children love games, especially elementary schoolers. They are still in the age when learning if made fun of is always more beneficial. Your elementary schooler will retain math concepts learned while playing simple math games and puzzles for much longer.
Try some of the following games for your child to believe us:
- Math hopscotch: draw hopscotch or a calculator on the ground with chalk and ask your child to jump on the right answer. For example, give them a small problem like what is 3X2 and ask them to jump to the next number when asked to divide it by 6.
- Math card games: Math War and Blobby’s Pizza are two great card games that can build math confidence in your child while they spend hours having fun.
- Geoboard with tie & cards is a great way to teach your child the basics of shapes and geometry
- Other games like math bingo, Adsumudi math game, etc. are great for building mental math skills in elementary school children
Regardless of your child’s friends, you must make sure to take an active part in these games with your child. Encourage them to think of more than one way of solving a problem. Discuss your every move and the reasoning behind it and encourage your child to discuss theirs. This way they will learn how to think mathematically and arrive at answers in the easiest and most efficient way possible. Gamify math and watch your elementary schooler spend hours away learning the subject you think they’d dread the most!
2. Make them connect math with everyday life
Being able to apply math to real-life situations will make your child understand and appreciate it better. Your child’s math perception will change drastically – From being an abstract subject to being a subject in action every day.
Take your elementary schooler to a play store or a grocery store where they can work with shopping lists and calculate costs. Ask them to sum up the price for all products you’ve picked and subtract the discount. Don’t be surprised if, after one or two such trips, your child comes back telling you about the best overall discount deal! We can almost hear your joyous ‘yay’!
Also read: 5 Strategies to Reverse Math Learning Loss in Your Child
3. Get them customized help
Getting your child a private math tutor is always a better idea than leaving it to luck. Elementary school years are the best years to build a strong foundation in math. A private tutor can bring in advantages of professional expertise, the experience of working with children of similar ages, and a sense of discipline and routine. With math, it is particularly important that your child receives customized help rather than formula templates.
At Talentnook, you can connect with tutors for almost all subjects and even art and music! We connect tutors and students for the best in class after school lessons. To find the right math tutor for your child, just log on to Talentnook.com and connect with experienced and qualified tutors. You can request free demo lessons, go through each tutor’s profile and choose from online or offline modes of instruction! What’s even better? You can also choose to enroll your child in our studypods where they can maximize their learning with a peer group.
4. Use an SEL approach – life coaching for kids can do wonders!
UNESCO defines SEL or social and emotional learning as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
Now, you might be wondering how can social and emotional learning play a role in learning math. The goal of SEL in math teaching is to help children develop a positive mathematical identity by connecting and applying mathematical concepts in a variety of ways. Simple board and card math games can help children learn about patterns, number sense, and spatial sense. In addition, they also teach children about taking turns, fair play, and analyzing mistakes.
Fun fact: CASEL’s Framework for Systemic Social and Emotional Learning is an integrated framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to support SEL. It was developed by CASEL and it is followed by us at PALO.
Foster life skills, academic & social-emotional skills in your child. Help them thrive – both in school & life! Explore PALO.
5. Reward effort and performance both
Always believe in your child and encourage them to approach math with a positive mindset. Positive affirmations and praise can work wonders to boost your child’s confidence, particularly in math. This is because often children get demotivated when they can’t find the right answers to a problem. This effect compounds with every problem they’re unable to tackle. Hence, it is important that you reward them for effort and even for making mistakes. Teach your children that making mistakes is an essential part of learning math. Involve your child in daily activities that involve the application of simple math and praise them for the help. A simple reward like a chocolate or a storybook for tackling a new math problem (even if they fail) can be a pleasant surprise. Do the little things and watch them compound into your child’s renewed confidence and love for math!
Also read: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Resilient Kids
Life coaching is a great way to build your child’s confidence and skills in the most organic way. Elementary school children respond much better to social-emotional teaching techniques than traditional methods. Math as a subject commands a genuine liking in the first place for excellence. You can instill a sense of joy and curiosity in your child by removing all mental blocks about math. This is the first step towards ensuring their long-term interest in math.
Why work with a life coach?
Just like every athlete and entrepreneur needs one to succeed, a life coach helps your child identify their strengths, double down on them, and unlock their full potential. This in turn ensures that success comes to them as naturally as breathing. Interested but don’t know where to start? At PALO, we pair your child with a coach who matches their personality and interests. The coach identifies strengths and growth areas and prepares an action plan to reach learning goals. Not just in math, you can ensure your child’s long-term success in all walks of life by getting them something more than just a subject lesson.
Get a FREE 20-min Coach Consultation to find out if coaching is right for your child, only when you join the waitlist! Register now, only a few slots are available!