Learning occurs from passive
teaching by a willing parent being present, offering the child help whenever required and
letting the child decide explore with numbers and patterns on their own. By forcing a
child to do maths, he may do the operations mechanically, without understanding the
reasoning. Forcing a child to do any activity will lead to a kind of hatred. Teach through
a play well method. The fundamentals will register, if he learns through play and fun
rather than being forced to learn by heart.
Fun activities to promote math skills
Parents can help their child master early maths skills by playing games in the house, car,
etc. Sort things by colour, shape and size. If you want your child to enjoy maths, show
him how maths is a part of every day life.
Here are many ways to introduce your child to maths. It is very necessary for you to
identify, what is your child's learning style. The learning styles of a child are of three
types. They are as follows :
a) Visual learner
b) Physical learner
c) Auditory learner
a) Visual Learner
Play a number
game : While you are driving around, make your child notice numbers on the street, car
number plates. Ask him to call out the numbers in the car. Usually children should be able
to recognize number one to ten before kindergarten.
people : Assist him in making a phone call. Give him a phone number of a friend and help
him to dial the number, this will give him a lot of practice with numbers.
Join the dots :
By joining dots, your child will learn number sequencing i.e. one is followed by two, four
is followed by five, seven is followed by eight. These books are easily available in book
everything around you : Count the number of people at the bus stop, in a shop, etc.
b) Physical Learner
Count and sort
household things : Mix up the cutlery i.e. knives, spoons, forks and let your child sort
them, i.e. counting how many belong to a particular group. You can teach your child
sorting with the help of your cupboard. E.g. Sorting the shirts, pants, t-shirts, socks by
colour and size.
shapes at home : Look for a table and identify its shape. Identify the shape of his bed.
puzzles and blocks : By playing with a shape sorter, puzzles, your child will learn basic
geometry as well as develop his motor skills.
Snack time can
be fun time : Give your child biscuits with different shapes, let him sort them and count them.
c) for Auditory Learners
counting rhymes and songs. These songs teach the child the concept of subtraction as well
as counting numbers.
Make your child
a chef in the kitchen. Give your child the measuring cup and let him measure and help you
prepare his favourite dish. This way your child learns the concepts of volume and weight.
Parents and Maths Phobia
Many parents do not attempt to promote their child's mathematical
potential because of their own negative childhood experience. Those experiences have a
deep impact on them that it is difficult for them to let go. They tend to pass their
dislike of maths on their children.
Sometimes parents have an attitude that maths is a mechanical subject only for engineers
and is not meant for the common person. It is necessary for parents to be comfortable with
maths themselves in order to help their children.
Role of Parents in Promoting Math Skills
You can help your child to learn maths skills by playing simple games
around the house. Everyday situations offer opportunities for exploring mathematics.
child's mind with challenging mathematical questions : Parents should ask their children
interesting questions to develop their mathematical skills, for e.g. you could ask the
child to count "How many are taxis passing by", "How many one rupee coins
you require make 100 rupees". "If there is one pastry and there are four people
to share it, how would share it?"
Play games with
your child : Simple board games like snakes and ladders give your child a chance to
develop maths skills. Chess and Checkers help develop visual thinking and strategy skills.
Play a lot of
sorting games : While doing your laundry ask your child to sort the clothes by ways of
colour, size and texture.
Food could be
used to cultivate mathematical interest : Cut sandwiches in different shapes e.g. circles,
triangles, squares, etc. Talk about the shapes as you eat them. Biscuits could also be
: At the grocery shop estimate the weights of different vegetables and fruits. Compare the
weight of all your family members. This will help in teaching the concept of more and
Travel time :
Bring maths into the family for e.g. time taken to travel to a particular destination,
number of taxis passing by, number of red cars, etc.
with your child : Construct a bar graph showing how many bowls of rice each family member
consumes in one months. Drawing a line graph indicating the amount of money in piggy bank.
Create a pie graph showing how the cricketer has scored his runs, be it square leg, silly
: Let your child open up a small bank account where he operates his account. He can check
his balance, make deposits, withdrawal, etc. Do the following above activities with your
child. It is not the right answers that are important but it is the process. The new way
of doing maths is what counts. Participate in all the games with a playful spirit.
How to tell whether
your child needs extra help with maths.
If you feel that your child needs extra help with maths, you could talk to your child's
teacher. A teacher sees a child in various situations and can compare him with other
children. The teacher is in a good position to notice any problem. Early warnings of a
1. He forgets numbers.
2. Gets troubled working with numbers.
3. Has trouble distinguishing left from right.
4. Finds trouble identifying shapes, even after much training.
If your child is having any problem with maths, it does not necessarily mean he has a
learning disability. It could be possible that he is being pushed too hard before he's
developmentally ready. Consult his class teacher who may suggest that more maths practice
should be done at home or that you talk to a learning specialist.