## Teaching your child the fun way

**1.Do fun quizzes**

**2.Games that require thinking**

**3.Treasure Hunt**

**4.Talk about how things around you work**

If your child always wants to play, you’re not alone. Every child has the want to spend most of his/her time having fun and though most parents worry about their studies, I think it’s not a bad thing at all! Games and fun are the way to go if you really want your child to learn to apply the skills they only get to read in text.

Here are some ways to make having fun which is also beneficial to their mind:

A quiz that also gives reward points to kids is ideal. Quizzes like the ones available on www.maths9.com are amazingly interactive, colourful and informative. The children get to see their score and learn where they can improve. Also, getting a good score encourages then to do better.

Games like Crossword, Chess, Chinese checkers, Othello and similar are fun and encourage you to use your mind before making a move. A game like Othello is really easy to learn but not as easy to master which will motivate the child to keep playing it till he/she can beat you! Play them with your children and watch them sharpen their brains.

Treasure Hunt is a popular game where one has to follow a series of hints before they find the ‘treasure’. ‘Treasure’ here could be anything your child likes, for example, a toy, a bar of chocolate, a story book etc. The series of hints could be riddles or simple ciphers that point to the next location your child should be at. Write the hints on chits of paper and enclose them in small envelopes. Place each in a series where each chit links to the location of the next chit till the treasure is discovered. You could make this more interesting by adding a task-to-complete for the child to receive the next hint. The task could be anything from helping you with some work to solving a maths problem. This can be played in your own house, on the neighbourhood streets or any other place you can think of. It’s fun and the child also gets a nice reward for thinking.

How does the gas stove work? How does electricity reach us? How do uncooked vegetables change to delicious curries when heated in different ways? How does moon change its shape every night?

There are a lot of questions in your everyday life and they all have answers. Talk about them and see their eyes sparkle and eyebrows frown as they make an effort to understand. Give them their time and laugh with them as they learn and understand. Seeing science in everyday use not only makes it easier to understand but fun to learn and become aware that things happening around us are not some sort of magic.

Making studies fun is almost always the best way to teach children so do not refrain from doing it the fun way!

Why
do some people absolutely hate maths? Is it really because it is a difficult
and boring subject? Or is the perceived difficulty just an illusion? Let’s list
a few points about why you should not hate it as much as you do:

**Maths is about problem solving**

When
you see a problem, what is your first instinct? To run away from it or to try
to solve it?

If
the latter option is your preference, then you should not hate maths because it
is a subject that develops a logical thinking process. A maths problem requires
you to think logically and hones your problem solving skills.

Solving
a problem is a vital skill – from a teacher arranging students in groups for a
class activity to astronomers deciding the best parameters for an optimal
trajectory of a satellite to be launched, every person will always encounter a
problem and will have to solve it by logical thinking and some calculations.

**Maths is about patience**

Maths
requires patience. Yes, it is very possible that you will make mistakes and not
reach the correct result in the first few tries, but is it really worth leaving
the subject to your hateful negligence just because you didn’t get it right the
first time? Good things take time, so stay right there and don’t give up! It
could just be that you were overlooking a simple yet important fact that was
messing up your result.

**Maths is about understanding**

Maths
is not about memorising facts, it is about understanding them. Every concept
requires you to understand it and feel it, not memories each step in the proof
of a theory. Every step has a meaning and can be replaced by another step if it
provides the same result. You need to think and understand and understanding
things is not a bad trait.

You
can practice your concepts here to improve your understanding and build
confidence.

**Maths is not only about calculations**

If
you’re one of those who believe that maths is tedious and only about boring
numbers then you are wrong. Maths is about a lot of things – patterns, shapes,
games, functions, relations, routes and a lot more! Maths is not only about
calculating numbers, it is also about finding logical solutions to most common
as well as not so common problems in numerous ways.

**Maths is used almost everywhere**

Maths
is used in almost every domain of life. From your daily activities like
shopping from the nearby grocery store to various career paths, from business
to fashion designing, maths is unavoidable.

Fashion
designing looks fun, colourful and creative and it requires the designer to
design according to the measurements of a model, adjust the parts of the design
to match others not only in colour but in shape, length and size as well.
Maths, we found you here too!

**Maths is fun!**

And
last but not the least, maths is fun! Once you start to understand it and see
how interesting it is, it is actually quite enjoyable. Maths based games are
fun and so is understanding a new, cool concept.

If maths look tedious and uninteresting to you, you only need to give it a chance. Be patient, be understanding, be thoughtful: these traits are not just useful for maths.

School
kids may be divided into two broad categories: those who love maths and those
who hate the maths subject.

Students
who love maths need little or no guidance. Clear explanation and a few maths practice
sums are enough to help them get better at the subject. However, things are not
so easy with the other students. Student who dislike maths do so because they
don’t understand it. This makes them fear the subject and that fear ultimately
leads to dislike. As the parent it is important that you help your kid get over
that fear so that child changes perspective and starts taking interest in maths.

Listed
below are a few simple tips that you could adopt at home:

**Remove the Negativity**

Often
times the parent’s perception of the subject reflects on the child. If you
don’t like the subject and have showcased it quite a few times, your child will
automatically dislike it as well. This is why it is highly advisable that you
create a positive environment at home, which welcomes maths and problem
solving. Talk about the advantages of learning maths and how maths will be
useful in the future. Be enthusiastic about the subject so that it encourages
your child to make an effort and voluntarily engage in maths practice.

**Use Real Life Examples**

Kids
learn better with real life examples because they instantly connect with them.
You should take advantage of this and present such instances. For example, you
may ask your little child to cross the groceries and then verify the grand
total. If your child is a little older you may also ask him to calculate how to
split the restaurant bill among 4 people. You could also take chocolates and
purchase into consideration and ask questions such as, “If one chocolate costs Rs.10,
how much will 20 chocolates cost?”

Such
connecting questions will spur interest and inspire them to practice maths
regularly.

**Play Games That Relate To
Maths**

Kids
usually don’t like being directly taught. This holds true especially when you
are trying to teach a subject they don’t like. This is where games come in.
Today, the market has many interactive and educational games that will not just
provide entertainment but will also help your child learn. Kids learn best when
they are interested and games cater to that.

**Use Technology**

We
live in a world of advanced technology and thanks to the advent of Internet
maths practice has become fun and feasible. You have plenty of choices to
practice maths online and to improve your child’s maths skills. Kids love
moving out of books and pencils, and using the mouse or track pad. A change in
the environment and medium of instruction will definitely have a positive
impact.

*Shatru is start-up specialist with experience in education and IT domains, currently he Founded maths9.com. Shatru is interested in education research. He can be reached at shatru (at) maths9.com. You also connect him on LinkedIn.*

**Help children understand the “value of
numbers”**

Ideally to learn the various
mathematical concepts, children are required to understand the value of the
numbers. Do not just let them say 1,2,3 and so on. Instead, for an example, you
can keep one apple at a place and two apples in another place and help them understand
the differences between them. With this, they will definitely help in understanding
the value of the numbers.

**Repeat “maths practice”**

It is really not enough if you teach a particular
mathematical concept or a problem only once. The math skills will often be
confusing and hence, repeating the math practice multiple times will be of
great help. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in
Trondheim says it is math practice makes perfect, not the talent.

**Make use of real ‘life examples’**

The real life examples will help them
to remember things better. Let them measure cups of water, distance from one place
to another and such other things. All these examples can be of great help in developing
the math skills. In everyday life, we will surely come across some kind of math.
Involve children to such real life situations and this will surely help them to
develop their ability to think better.

**Let the “teaching be in order”**

Reaching math needs to be in order
always. Do not go directly to the difficult trigonometry or calculus, without
the right knowledge of Algebra. The base of learning these things needs to be strong
for a better understanding. When children learn the topics in order, they will be
able to thoroughly understand the principles and its applications.

**Solving math problems on a “daily basis”**

It is necessary to solve the math
problems on a daily basis. They are required to dedicate at least an hour for solving
the math problems on a daily basis. Use math practice website to master in each
skill through interactive questions with fun. This will confidently help them
in improving their performance.

**Author: Priyanka Kamath**

**“Maths is the worst thing ever invented
by man. What were they thinking? Language is too easy, so let’s make up some
creepy symbols and manipulate them to haunt every generation of kids.”**

On January 21, 2014, on the Facebook
fan page of the renowned author, *Chetan Bhagat*, the above statement (from 3 Mistakes Of My Life) was published
posted on a Facebook status. This gave rise to a numerous positive and negative
comments from people throughout the globe. A few people appreciated the statement,
whereas a few completely disagreed with the statement.

Few people, in fact expressed contentment
stating even *Chetan Bhagat* actually thinks of those lines as they think! Whereas
a few more people stated that** “mathematics occupies an important place in various
branches of studies” **and the statement was not agreed upon.

Among the numerous comments that
followed the statement a comment indicated that** “maths is a language of scholars”,**
whereas there was another comment, which stated that

Even though the opinions vary among
people, I feel Mathematics is an important branch of study and have put across
my personal views herein.

Well! Maths is often considered a tough
subject of study. Too many calculations, formulas, method of working out and
such other things are really not a child’s play. The previous night of the
Maths examination is truly a nightmare for many. But, what about life without
mathematics? Learning only languages may help you to interact with people.

Even in various subjects of study like geography, physics or chemistry, various numerical calculations will be included and hence, mathematics can never be ignored. Apart from the usual arithmetic study, students will also be subject to study of algebra and geometry, with which mathematics is made interesting. Considering all these aspects, maths can certainly be considered ‘magic’. However, by following the below mentioned tips, maths can be learnt effectively.

**Practice maths daily**– It is better to make it a habit. Students are required to dedicate at least two to three hours on a daily basis for this purpose. Practice only makes better at maths.**Group studies can prove to be effective**. - Compete with friends so as to decide who can solve quickly and effectively.**Memorize the formulae**– The formulae should be memorized well. It is ideal to make a chart of it and hang it against a wall, so that they can have a glance at it every day.**Consider it equal to any other subject**– When the students think this way, it will not generate any kind of stress. However, it is suggested to give a little more importance.**Be confident**– Solving the math problems confidently is extremely essential. Try to find new methods of solving a particular problem. Understand the concept well, so that it facilitates easy calculation.

If these things are followed, maths will
never be a difficult subject of study. Children
can easily excel in it and score well!

The author *Chetan Bhagat’s* statement,
does not actually fit in the current competitive world. May be he feels that for
a writer it is not that essential as most of the time and efforts are revolved
around thinking on creative lines and putting across good language. However, considering
the needs of the current world, knowing at least the basic concepts of
mathematics is essential.

Image credit: Chetan Bhagat Facebook fan page.

Priyanka is a successful content writer and has written various webpages, blogs and articles and has contributed greatly to the content writing field. She has completed her Bachelors in Commerce from Mangalore University and has set up a wonderful career in content writing. Apart from being a prosperous homemaker, her passion for writing is tremendous.

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