5 Ways to Make Math Seem Appealing to Kids Who Just Aren't Interested
Getting your kids interested in math — or anything number-related — can be a real challenge, especially if you weren't exactly fond of arithmetic yourself growing up. Rather than focus solely on the Common Core worksheets their teacher sends home, tackle their disinterest head-on by sneaking some math enrichment into their everyday activities.
Here's how to improve your child's math scores without being met with a whole lot of eye-rolling.
Let Your Kids Cook With You
If the kitchen is your happy place, extending the invitation to your mini me isn’t such a bad idea. If you’re making dinner, start off by having them help you measure the dry ingredients and move up from there. They’ll begin to get an understanding of measuring and volume, all while learning how to cook for themselves. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Download a Few Apps
Now that we’re way into the digital age, there is a slew of engaging, just-for-kids apps that are disguised as games but really teach them something. Stealthy, right? Try Quick Math (for kids aged 3 to 6), which uses adorable monsters to give your kids “a great number sense.” You can also download Let’s Do the Math (ages 6 and up) or Mathmateer (ages 9 to 11), which both get kids thinking in creative ways without making them feel like you’re drilling them.
Have Your Children Solve Problems IRL
Do you take your kids to the supermarket? How about with you in the car to run errands? There are so many chances to sneak simple math problems into their daily lives. Start by asking them to count the change before you check out at Trader Joe’s, tasking them to count the black cars in the parking lot, or seeing if they can calculate how much faster your car can go without being over the speed limit. Engaging your kid in conversations that make them think outside the box can go a long way when hit comes to succeeding in the classroom, no matter how casual they seem to be.
Enroll Them in a Music Class
Although it’s been highly debated whether or not learning a musical instrument can boost their test scores, it certainly can’t hurt, according to an article in Scientific American. While studies have shown that kids who’ve been trained in music early on in their lives have higher grades and standardized test scores when it comes to math, there’s no solid connection between the two. However, researchers agree that learning music reinforces important mathematical concepts like fractions and ratios, so it's worth a shot, right?
Buy Them Legos
We know what you’re thinking: “I don’t want to step on any more of these things while I’m making a late-night fridge run in the dark.” But giving your kids Legos has tons of benefits when it comes to enhancing their math skills. For starters, kids as young as 3 can begin developing spatial reasoning. And with all the advanced sets and add-ons, older kids can get a taste of robotics and engineering principles.
PS: You can also teach basic nonbuilding concepts using Legos. Explaining things like multiplication or fractions to your crew using the blocks makes for an easy visual and may be easier for them to digest.