My daughter has no interest in math
February 6, 2012 at 7:53 am #22703
My first grade daughter has no interest in math. And actually, she really doesn’t like it at all! A great student in most subjects, she gets frustrated very easily when doing her math work. These early years are so important for getting a good foundation in a subject like mathematics…can anyone think of ways I can help her to foster an interest? I myself am not a huge math person, so this has been a struggle for me.February 6, 2012 at 10:46 am #22705
You’re right. The early years are so imporant for developing a foundation and confidence also in early subjects. I find that often, the trouble with math is that it’s a subject that tends to "stand alone". Teachers tend to teach math in a way that makes it disconnected from and unintegrated with everything else that the student is already doing, learning/studying and loving. I think three essential ways to generate interest in a new subject (or confidence one that the student finds difficult) is 1. to make it practical show how that subject is related to the student’s natural everyday life, 2. to connect it to subject matter (information) and learning modes (actions) that the student is already in love with or at least already routinely and easily doing, and 3. get the student involved in his/her own learning solutions/decisions.
Here’s an example of 1: Try to find ways to "talk out" the "math situations" that are already happening everyday. i.e. We have two people coming to dinner. We usually set the table for three. Now we need two more. So we’ll need five altogether. Or Let’s go buy you and your brother new pencils for school. You each need two packs of pencils. There are ten pencils in each pack. Now we’ll have twenty pencils to bring home. Hey, I had ten donuts in this pack. Now there are only 4 left over. Who ate six of my donuts? Oh that costs two dollars. Here’s a dollar and four quaters; give that to the cashier, please. You have two cookies you brother has three. You have one more than him. I’ll have to take one way so that it’s equal. Making math part of your everyday conversations also helps student to learn those "trigger words" for word problems. more, altogether = addition, take away, left over = subtraction, each = multiplication etc. The idea is not to try to contrive the situations but to show that they are already happening.
Here’s an example of 2: If your child already love learning about cars and loves drawing/painting find a way to relate math to art (action) and car (information). You can draw cars in a pattern red, blue, yellow, red, blue yellow. You can paint a garage full of cars using fractions. Half the cars will be blue, one fourth will be pink, and the other fourth will be orange. Do you guys each pie or pizza. Does you child like to cook? Pie and pizza are also great for fractions. Does your daughter like fashion or flower arrangement? Those are great for patterns.
Lastly about point 3: Talk to your daughter. Say I noticed you sometimes get really frustrated about math. I hate to see you so upset. I’d like to find some way that it can be easier and more fun for you. What are some things that you love that you think could help you with math? Let you daughter come up with some suggestions of things that she loves. …Then follow up with… Yes I see. So if math had something to do with ____(the beloved thing)___ then that might make it more fun for you? Ok, let’s give that a try.
Here are some helpful links if your daughter like reading, interactive toys/games, computer games:
Yipes I wrote alot. But I it’s just somthing I’m passionate about… I too had a hard time with math when I was younger. And I’m so grateful to my mom would make little games for me and teach me to find ways to make it better for myself. It never became me favorite subject. But it did get easier and looking back I am really thankful for the cute little things my mom made for me. Anyway I hope this was helpful. 😀
Oh yes and songs… Does your daughter like music?… I remember School House rock has fun math songs (the counting by 5 song is on youtube) and here’s another link: Numbers Everywhere
Ok… I’ll stop now… :-D…February 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm #22706
I’m a new mom to mom blogger at Bright Horizons. Today, the editor posted this blog I wrote on Legos for Girls.
Legos just came out with sets designed to attract girls and they are so adorable!!! Legos teach all sorts of mathematical concepts. You may want to get your daughter a small set and see if she is interested at all. Besides having to look at the instructions and count out how many knobs you need to build something, you also have to work with color, understand what makes a rectangle vs. a square, figure out patterns, etc… You can have your daughter sort out the Legos too before building and then of course she gets to play with her creation. There are LOTS of articles on how Legos help develop math skills and lots of tips and tricks out there on how to support it. There are all sorts of sets to choose from: dog show, vet, tree house, doll house and much more! http://friends.lego.com/en-us/Products/Details/3061.aspxFebruary 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm #22707
I 100% agree with the theory of making math practical for kids. Everyone thinks differently – some of us need real-life examples of when and how to use math in order for logic to make sense. Also, incorporate these teachings in your normal everyday tasks rather than saving the learning for just homework time. Do math at the grocery store (adding/subtracting items from the cart) or talk about money when you’re on your way to the bank. Math will seem more like a part of your child’s normal day and less of a frustrating, hard to grasp academic subject.
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