Don’t Be Your Child’s Maths Tutor!

Many children hate Math. If your kid is one of them and you are not sure of what to do, the answer is up ahead.

Before children enter formal schooling, many parents typically engage them in informal math activities like counting steps or peas on a plate or looking out for numbers on buildings. These kinds of activities help children learn key math concepts and become interested and confident in math. However, soon after children start their formal education, these math activities reduce in frequency. The focus switches to math homework. 

A study of 483 parents of first- and second-graders in the midwestern United States found that parents tended to have more negative and less positive feelings when working on math homework than they did when engaged in math activities. One reason for this was that parents do not know how to help children learn math. Unfortunately, the more parents try to be involved in their children’s math homework, the more children disliked math, avoided difficult math problems, and performed poorly subsequently

The best advice for parents is to refrain from being involved with their children’s math homework as much as possible. Instead, stay on the sidelines, acting as cheerleaders and providing a sounding board. Be encouraging when your children hit a stumbling block, acknowledge their frustration and urge them to not give up.

When my daughter was struggling with maths at Primary 4, I had to think of a way to boost her confidence and show her how she could overcome something she thought was insurmountable. So I started running, something that I considered insurmountable. Very soon, her confidence picked up and was beginning to excel in maths. 

By Parcsen Loke, Family Life Coach, Centre for Fathering. 

Food for Thought: Does your child find math difficult? How do you help your child to be motivated to learn it?