What comes to your mind when you think of math? Most adults might conjure images of equations. However, math is often synonymous with dusty chalkboards and complex problems for kids. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
With up to 20% of the world’s population suffering from math anxiety, it is no surprise that kids don’t find math learning fun. However, there are ways to remedy this situation. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best tips to make math learning fun and interesting. But first, let’s explore the basics, shall we?
Why Do Kids Struggle to Learn Math?
You crack open a math textbook. Immediately, your child’s smile fades, and they begin to sulk. If this is a familiar scenario, it’s important to note that you aren’t alone. Here are a few reasons why your child might be struggling to learn math:
As we mentioned earlier, math anxiety affects a significant percentage of the population. Typically, if a child suffers from math anxiety, they’ll feel reluctant to learn math. Tests and exams will often stress them out and may even cause a full-blown panic attack. But how do you know if your child is experiencing math anxiety? While there’s no official medical diagnosis, there are a few tell-tale signs to watch out for. If your child experiences intense sweating and nausea in math situations, it may be a sign that they’re suffering from math anxiety. Similarly, you may want to pay closer attention if they keep avoiding math situations.
We’ll admit it: math isn’t the easiest subject out there. This is because it’s mainly numerical and often involves numerous formulas and processes. If a child struggles to understand concepts or keep up with their homework, they will lose motivation and interest in the learning process.
Lack of interest
What does your child really like? In some cases, kids struggle to learn math, not necessarily because it’s complicated. Instead, it’s because they have no genuine interest in the subject. If your child is generally attuned to reading or art subjects, their disinterest in math could make learning difficult.
This is almost every student’s reaction when a math teacher keeps droning on and on. Here’s a fun fact: if the math lesson isn’t exciting or engaging enough, chances are the students won’t learn. So, shake things up a little instead of sticking to the status quo and challenge your students.
How To Make Math Learning More Interesting
So, you’re probably wondering how to make children know math in a fun way. You’ve come to the right place. Although it can be difficult to get everyone on board with math, the following tips will help you deliver engaging lessons:
Use math games
Have you ever tried fun math games? Over the past few years, many scholars have advocated for integrating game-based learning into curriculums. The reason? It’s pretty simple. Games are fun. They keep kids engaged and active. When you integrate this strategy into lessons, kids get excited and are more motivated/ willing to get through the lesson. Throw in a bit of competition, and you’d see them swarming to learn math.
However, it’s not just about the fun. Game-based learning remains one of the most effective methods of teaching mathematics. It helps students learn concepts faster and easier. More importantly, game-based learning helps students retain what they’ve learned for much longer.
You can either make math fun games or download a few to kick off your students’ learning journeys.
Use visual aids
If you’re wondering how to make math fun, visual aids just might do the trick. According to research, up to 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. This means that there’s a significant chance that most (if not all) of your students or kids might be visual learners.
Thus, light up your classroom with visual aids and items. This could be charts, graphs, and even picture books.
Visual aids are necessary because they help kids make sense of new concepts amd could serve as a reference point for students to connect abstract ideas to real life. They also make the classroom lively and can boost students’ engagement and motivation.
Make each lesson student-centered
The young learner is at the core of every math lesson. It might be tempting to focus on what you want them to do or achieve. However, at the end of the day, their learning needs matter. One mistake most tutors make is that they focus solely on the curriculum. This causes them to churn out monotonous content rather than lively, spirit-boosting lessons.
Shifting to a student-centered approach will help you support your kid’s learning needs and goals. You’ll also be able to deliver lessons in a more engaging manner.
Use engaging questions
If all else fails, word problems will always swoop in and save the day. Word problems are a great way to connect the lesson with your kid’s interests and enliven things. For instance, instead of asking them something mundane like: 15-5, you can put a spin on the question and make it more interesting:
Batman has just bought 15 apples from the supermarket. If he throws 2 apples at The Joker and 3 more at some bad guys, how many apples does he have left?
Framing the question this way sets their imagination into motion and keeps them engaged.
Throw in some physical movement
Sometimes, kids struggle to learn math because they’re stuck in one position for hours on end. Make each math lesson more interesting by asking them to move around. For instance, you could conduct a scavenger hunt for geometric shapes and patterns. Also, make them play interactive games and watch your classroom come alive in the blink of an eye.
Wondering how to make math fun for adults and kids? These tips outlined above will set you on the right track. Throw in some games and ensure that each lesson is student-focused rather than strictly curriculum-focused. You’ll begin to see results in no time!