No subject seems to meet with as much resistance as math, and a lot of children as well as grownups keep asking themselves if they really need to learn it. Is it of any use in everyday life? Isn’t it mostly theoretical? The answer, of course, is that basic math is necessary for many everyday chores, from going to the supermarket to re-carpeting your living room. Of course, many jobs require us to have good math skills in order to bill customers correctly, calculate dates and lots of other tasks of varying difficulty.
Once you start getting into more involved financial dealings, you might benefit from knowing more advanced mathematics. Let’s say you’re trying to figure out how much interest you’ll end up paying if you buy an expensive item on a credit card and pay it off in a certain number of months. In order to arrive at the final figure, you’ll have to make a number of calculations. Most of us don’t even bother doing this; we just go with the credit card that offers the best rate and keep using it. If we were to sit down and figure out how much money we end up paying in terms of interest, we’d probably run in the opposite direction.
Children obviously don’t have credit cards, but the older they get, the more likely they are to get involved in financial dealings. Older children often buy their own things, from clothes to books and electronics. They also have to travel on their own, either by public transport or car. Doing all of this requires a basic knowledge of math. So the next time your child asks you exactly why studying math is necessary, you can explain how the best deals at the mall can only be found by using mathematics! That will probably spur your child on to learn more of this dreaded subject.
Once your children start to see the practical applications of a knowledge of math as it applies to them, they will want to learn more. The important thing is to get your child more interested and enthusiastic about this subject by tying it to something that they already feel passionate about. Sure, there are children who love math for the sake of math, but most come to love it for the sake of what it gives them. A teen who is old enough to drive will benefit from a knowledge of math when it comes to figuring out how many gallons of gas are needed to get from point A to point B. So wanting to drive can serve as an incentive to learning math, as can so many other activities.
If your child is willing to learn math but just can’t seem to grasp it, remember that anyone can learn the basics if they are broken down into their constituent parts. If the child needs to figure out what 12 + 3 – 8 + 5 equals, you can explain that this doesn’t need to be done all at once, that the child can figure out 12 + 3, then minus 8 from the result and add 5 to what remains. This is just a simple example, but breaking up a sum into its constituent parts in this way often helps to simplify things a great deal.
Not all of us are born prodigies, and we may not all necessarily believe what Plato argues in the Meno, a dialogue where he contends that learning is simply a matter of recollection. But, time after time, evidence has shown that people vastly underestimate their ability to learn a skill by practice, perseverance and sheer determination. Many people believe that they have no ability to learn math, but those same people can often thrive if given the right encouragement. Oftentimes, when we underestimate ourselves, we don’t apply ourselves to the fullest, creating a self-fulfilling outcome.
Sometimes, it is possible that a child needs to be taught differently in order to understand math. It could be that your child simply isn’t able to understand a certain teacher’s style or even your own teaching style. Then your child requires math hw help from you or other people. In such cases, it is possible to get tutoring for your child at places where they will be able to evaluate your child’s mathematical level and come up with an individualized plan. Each child has individual quirks, and it’s necessary to take these into account when coming up with a personalized educational program.