Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned thinker on education innovation, once wrote: Mathematics in its many forms has an essential place in the practice of all of the sciences, in technology, in the arts, and in many aspects of daily life.
Simply put, math is more than a subject your child learns at school, primary math tuition centre or home tuition. Help your child to see this, and build a habit of applying what they've learned – starting with Primary Math concepts. This adds to the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract or C-P-A model that schools are encouraged to use, and helps your child to see math as more than an imaginary concept that only exists in textbooks.
In this blog post, AGrader tuition centre shares how you can support your child in using math regularly to solve maths problems in their daily lives.
1. Apply Math in Existing Routines
We already use math daily. Show your child how you apply it in current routines, and encourage them to practise with you to ensure that your child applies them too. For instance, buying meals at hawker centres gives your child the chance to practise subtraction if you ask for their help with calculating how much change you should get.
If you’re splitting the bill at a restaurant, ask for their help with division to work out each person’s share.
On grocery runs, see if they can use fractions and percentages to check if discounts on specific foods were applied correctly.
By using math more regularly, your child gets to see the practical applications of using Primary Math skills and reinforce their foundations in the subject.
2. Pair Math with Their Interests
Take a few minutes to list your child’s hobbies, and write down ways you could incorporate math. For example, if your child enjoys baking, ask for their help with changing ratios to double or halve the recipe.
If your child enjoys car rides, create a game where all passengers make educated estimates for when you’d arrive at your destination based on the driver’s speed. Prepare the list ahead of time, and have it easily available so that you’re ready to ‘play’ when the situation arises. Once they get the hang of it, encourage them to create similar games with their friends. This way, they can all have fun as they practise together.
3. Make Math Fun
Math can be scary for some children. So meet them halfway, and use things they enjoy to show them how math can also be interesting. For example, if your child can’t seem to put a book down, encourage them to explore books like The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl that features math as a superpower, or the Sir Cumference series that introduces Primary Math concepts like geometry as part of adventurous stories.
If your child enjoys watching movies, catch films such as Back to the Future, where topics like unit rates and probability are explored in the exciting context of time travel. This way, they start to associate math with positive experiences they enjoy.
4. Learn Something New
Get your child excited about math by starting afresh. Create opportunities where they get to learn something new while using math. If your child enjoys computer games, consider a coding class or holiday bootcamp. They get to use Primary Math skills like measurements and decimals, among others, and build problem solving mindsets as they start thinking about different ways computers can help them.
5. Celebrate the Wins
Whatever method you choose, remember to praise your child when they apply math outside the classroom to solve difficult probelms. Our Maths tutors at AGrader use positive reinforcement during Primary Math tuition and other classes, and have seen how a little encouragement has gone a long way for so many students. This is also one of the benefits of having small class size tuition at AGrader to ensure all students are well-given attention to create positive learning experience.
Studies have shown that positive feelings and celebrations are a great way to help people and children reinforce small changes. This, in turn, makes them more likely to keep using math in the classroom, and beyond.
Using math again and again helps your child to see concrete ways math can be applied. We’ve seen how effective reinforcement can be with our unique EverLoop Improvement System, where students get unlimited high-quality revision sessions on top of their weekly tuition classes. Similarly, the ideas above would help your child to refresh, revise, and retain math concepts so that they may confidently apply them within and beyond the classroom. Try some of the ideas, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Interested to find out more about AGrader’s primary maths tuition lessons and its unique offerings? Contact us via Whatsapp, email, or by calling in. We have got some bonuses to offer you when your child enrolls in one of our lessons!