Success in mathematics takes a collaborative approach. Teachers need to understand mathematics and how to teach it well. Students need to put in effort and work at becoming better learners. A child’s success in mathematics does not just depend on what happens in the classroom though. Parents can make a big difference in helping their children be successful in mathematics. In this post, I discuss one of five important ways that parents can help their child enjoy mathematics and do well in the subject. (1) Have a positive attitude towards mathematics, (2) Emphasize reasoning over memorization, (3) Reading is impactful, (4) Ask open-ended questions, and (5) Play mathematics games and puzzles.
Have a Positive Attitude Towards Mathematics
One of the most important things that parents can do is to demonstrate a positive attitude towards mathematics. One of the worst things that parents can say is, “I never got math.” When it is conveyed that mathematics is a subject that some students can do and others cannot, it can cause students to put forth less effort and accept that failing mathematics is okay. Parents can encourage their child that mathematics can be learned like any subject. They can also instill in their child the importance of mathematics to better understand the world and for decision making. When parents have a positive attitude towards mathematics and encourage their child they can do well in mathematics, it can make a big difference. The table below has phrases that parents and teachers should avoid as well as positive messages that can be communicated instead.
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Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.