Being a part of your child’s learning is vital for their success. By being actively involved and setting high expectations for your child, you can help guide them towards having high values of doing well in school.
Over three decades of research has found that student success is positively impacted by parent involvement regardless of socioeconomic status, background, or parent’s level of education. When you learn alongside your child, you are setting an example while strengthening your relationship. Your child will see your confidence building in mathematics which will help build them up as well. Your attitude about learning can directly influence your child’s educational success.
Approximately 50 percent of Americans suffer from a condition known as “math anxiety” which leaves them feeling like they “just can’t do math.” This type of anxiety can start as early as five years old and can last into adulthood.
In the past, you may have learned math through traditional algorithms, which included “carrying,” “borrowing,” or “putting a zero.” If you didn’t understand what you were doing with this type of mathematics, you are not alone. Many knew that it was fast and efficient and got them the correct answer most of the time, but they didn’t fully understand how it worked. This led many to believe that simply following steps to get quick answers was the best way to do math. But, the reality is that it never translated well in the real world.
Instead of showing your child the way you learned math, which may inadvertently do more damage than good, Dropkick Math will expose you to new learning strategies your child is experiencing in their classroom. We have much more information now about how the human brain develops and learn new concepts. this translates into more effective teaching strategies that develop conceptual understanding and improves retention of knowledge. Once you start to learn and understand these new ways of engaging with mathematics, you may even overcome your own anxiety.
No matter how you feel about math, and if you suffer from math anxiety, it is imperative not to talk negatively about the subject. Often when a child hears their caregiver say, “I never use math,” or “I am no good at math,” they receive the message that only certain people can do math, and that it may not be necessary for daily life. The more often children hear negative attitudes towards math, the more deep-rooted their dislike for mathematics may become.
Being positive about math also includes showing your child how important and valuable it is in everyday life. By making it relevant to them, you are creating an interest for them to learn about it. Children learn by imitating the people around them, so try and make math an important part of experiences to help develop healthy academic skills.
By learning math along with your child, you can become a role model for them. Try to talk out loud as you work your way through everyday tasks. This way, they will see you using mathematics in daily life and will begin to mimic your behaviour. Thinking aloud allows your child to hear how you think and will help them develop the essential skills needed for posing and solving problems.
A great way to use the “thinking out loud” strategy is at the grocery store. As you fill your basket, try recording the prices in a small notebook and saying them out loud. Before you get to the register, add the prices to get a total and see how close you and your child can get to the sum once you cash out.
You can also make use of the scales available at the grocery store to create a learning experience. Try to estimate the weight of a bag of apples and then use the scale to get an accurate measure in kilograms. This can be a great teaching moment for you to show your child the importance of understanding measurements.
It is a common misconception that it is difficult for parents to contribute to their child’s math education. While it is often advised to read with your child to develop their skills or play in the backyard to teach them teamwork and the importance of physical activity, math is often left out of this advice. This is why the programs from Dropkick Math are crucial for your child’s success in education.
The Ministry of Education recently released information on “Parent Engagement,” which said:
“Parent engagement matters. Study after study has shown us that student achievement improves when parents play an active role in their children’s education, and that good schools become even better schools when parents are involved…”
As one of the leading math tutoring services in Ontario, our trained instructors at Dropkick Math provide support in learning key math skills by focusing on relationships and engaging the parent/guardian. Get started today by learning more about our programs.