Though students spend hours learning math in school, many go home somewhat confused; they may not fully comprehend the reasoning behind a specific concept or how to apply certain formulas to their work.
As such, many parents find themselves in the position to teach their child math.
Unfortunately, teaching your child math isn’t always a walk in the park. Parents often unknowingly make mistakes that create more confusion than clarity. Read on to learn about these mistakes and how to avoid them.
The Importance of Teaching Children Math
Studying math is immensely beneficial.
For one, it helps develop an individual’s critical thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills, all essential in everyday life. It also pushes students to understand the world around them better; for example, students who have learned statistics might be better able to follow news reports featuring complex numbers. Hence, we encourage parents to take the time and guide their children through the learning experience.
Not Understanding the Basics Yourself
Sometimes, math just doesn’t seem to make sense. If you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head due to your child’s math homework, know that you’re not alone—but also know that it is crucial to address the issue and learn the basics before trying to teach them to your child. Otherwise, you may incorrectly instruct your child and cause even more confusion.
Hence, you should consider looking for online courses and math tutoring programs to fill the gaps in your knowledge.
Expecting Your Child to Understand Everything Immediately
Every child learns differently; some may take longer to understand and master concepts than others.
While it may be tiring to go over the same topic or question repeatedly, you should not express your frustration when your child asks for further clarification, as this might result in embarrassment and a dislike for the subject.
Relying on Memorisation Over Understanding
Rote learning may help your child through the first few years of school, but it is not a sustainable approach in the long run. Ultimately, memorisation results in a shallow understanding of mathematical concepts, thus making it challenging for students to apply their knowledge to complex questions.
Additionally, memorisation stifles creativity, which is essential in math, where there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution.
Focus Too Much on Grades
It is common for parents to look at their child’s grades—after all, it is the most tangible measure of success. However, fixating too much on results may hinder the learning process.
When focused on scoring well, students may end up memorising information to regurgitate it on a test, causing understanding and curiosity to take a backseat. Moreover, your child’s confidence and self-esteem may rely too heavily on their results; less-than-stellar grades may lead to resentment for the subject.
Not Making Math a Part of Everyday Life
Math is not just confined to the classroom—it is everywhere! Some real-life applications of mathematical concepts include grocery store price comparisons and baking measurements.
Therefore, it helps to integrate little math lessons into your day-to-day life. This practice makes the learning experience more fun and gives your child a better understanding of math’s relevance.
Not Seeking Help When Needed
Seeking external help is not a sign of weakness—if anything, it indicates your desire to help your child. Recognise whenever you’re in over your head, and don’t be shy about reaching out to math tutors.
Teaching your child math can be a challenge. What if you don’t get the question? What’s wrong with expecting consistently good grades? Is memorisation genuinely a helpful approach to learning math? Hopefully, this article has helped answer these questions and deepened your understanding of the mistakes to avoid when teaching your child.
For extra support and assistance, consider enrolling your child in Miracle Math, a math tuition centre in Singapore. Our primary and secondary mathematics tutor provides upper primary and secondary tuition, including Sec 4 A-Math tuition.