How to get children to enjoy mathematics


With the help of an adult and the right strategies, children can learn to love mathematics. If we take advantage of the early ages, you can shape your taste for this discipline with very simple steps:

1. Never say “I hated mathematics” (even if it was true)

Probably, she would be more embarrassed to tell him that she hated to read or that she hated to play sports. Unfortunately, the anxiety towards mathematics is more common and, who suffers it, activates in its brain regions associated with pain . But children imitate adults and it will be difficult for the child to have a positive attitude towards mathematics if you criticize them. Even worse, he will be giving him an excuse to surrender to the first difficulty.

2. Let him see that he is surrounded by mathematics

Show him that in his day to day there is mathematics everywhere and accustom him to look for them. How much time to enter the school? Why does the fruit seller stack the oranges this way ? Why does that spider wait in the center of its web?

3. Take some time to math

If you spend a little time each day promoting reading , why do not you do the same with math? You can be inspired by Bedtime Math , which every day proposes a mathematical challenge and has an app in Spanish , or you can search in one of the many blogs with mathematical resources for Children or for Primary .

4. Help him not to give up when he gets stuck

We all have fallen learning to ride a bicycle, but we keep trying and we end up getting it. Try to be at his side, let him pedal alone and help him when he needs it.

5. Encourage creativity in addition to the method

Mathematics is not just about following a recipe . As in the kitchen, you have to know how to do it, but it is also good to experiment and get edible results. Channeling your creativityis as necessary as teaching you to follow instructions.

6. Teach him to solve problems

It is important to give you tools to face and solve the problems that life presents to us. First, understand the problem and become familiar with it. Second, look for strategies and design plans. Third, choose a strategy and carry out the plan. Finally, recap to learn from the successes and mistakes.

7. Talk about the usefulness of mathematics

It is good that children know painters, writers, musicians, engineers or scientists who have left their mark. To talk about math, you can use a designated date, such as Pi Day or an anniversary . You can also consult a list of important mathematicians or the Women with Science page .

To know more:

These tips are just a selection and adaptation of those that appear in the literature. If you have any more, you can provide it in the comments.

Unfortunately, there are not too many materials on this topic in Spanish. You can consult How to help your child with math , within the series Helping your child from the US Department of Education. Another interesting material is the Tips for parents: The mathematics of The Learning Community .

On how to solve problems, they can be useful How to teach children to solve math problems , from the Guidance Department of the San Vicente de Paúl School in Gijón, or Mathematics Problems Workshop for Primary , from Guidance Andújar.

Finally, in English you can consult the Maths tips of New South Wales or the article How to get reluctant children to embrace maths , from Gulf News .

Author Bio: David Orden Martín is Professor of University, area of ​​Applied Mathematics at the University of Alcalá