Post contributed by Kate Anderson
Here are few life-saving tips and tricks for raising math-loving homeschoolers that give much-needed math help to parents.
The responsibility of educating your kids at home can be a daunting one and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is especially true when it comes to teaching math – the word is known to strike terror in the hearts of many an intrepid homeschooling parent.
How do you teach your kids to love math if you struggle with it yourself?
You’re not alone.
Homeschool math is a feared topic and many American parents happen to be in the same boat. Don’t worry; there are several life-saving approaches to raise math-loving homeschoolers and give some much-needed math help to math-phobic parents. Here are a few sensible tips that might work for you and your child.
1. Make math fun
It’s easy to infect kids with a negative attitude towards math so your job as a homeschooling parent is to make sure your child associates homeschool math with “fun;” something he looks forward to learning everyday. Online math games can help you achieve this seemingly impossible goal. These are outstanding virtual resources which kids (and sometimes the entire family) can use to learn and review mathematical concepts in a fun way. Math games cater to all skill levels and are based upon a variety of topics. From simple single-digit addition to complicated algebra problems, you’ll find a math game that caters to your child’s needs. Online games can rid your child of homeschool math anxiety!
2. Make math real
You need to make your child understand that homeschool math is more than just a set of numbers and weird patterns and that it relates to him and his everyday life in lots of ways. This is important because a child who makes real world connections with this subject is far more likely to use it and want to learn more about it. Since math is connected with almost everything around us, use simple activities to draw his attention to the math he learns in homeschool and the math in everyday situations:
• Walking, jumping and climbing stairs can be used to practice counting.
• Recognizing, drawing and coloring shapes are a good introduction to geometry.
• Balancing Dad’s checkbook is a great way to learn advanced addition and subtraction.
3. Let math make sense
While teaching homeschool math, many parents make the mistake of teaching kids “how” mathematical concepts work (also known as procedural understanding) without going into the “why” (also known as conceptual understanding) of it. A child that only has procedural understanding of math concepts is likely to forget it very soon because it is mechanical, but conceptual knowledge is more lasting and deep-rooted. Helping your child make sense of math can take time, but it is important not to leave a topic until he knows the “how” and understands the “why.” For instance, you could teach him how to solve long division problems, and then explain why it works. Alternate the practice with explanation and he is sure to understand it thoroughly.
When your child does homeschool math for the sheer fun of it, you know you have succeeded!
Kate Anderson is a blogger and freelance writing professional interested in everything to do with kids and gaming. Always on the lookout for something interesting to do online, Kate is especially fond of fun games for kids. Her writing reflects her love for exciting online games.