Raising a natural mathematician - Make Maths Fun.
Many parents may admit that math was not their favorite subject in high school. Many may also admit that math now plays an essential role in their lives and careers and will be necessary for their own children's futures.
Spending time with teens to make math relevant to them now can help them build strong math competencies to achieve success later. So how can parents engage their teens in math-focused activities that both can enjoy?
Here are a few tips to help parents capture their teens' and preteens' interes, through encouragement, entertainment and empowerment.
Make It Real, Make It Fun
Leading by example is a powerful influencer. Showing how math is used every day can help teens understand its importance to their lives outside of the classroom. Are you cooking dinner tonight? Have your teen measure out the ingredients and ask questions on measurements if a recipe was doubled. There are also Educational STEM Toys that aid in helping children practise their maths skills in a manner that feels more natural and playful as opposed to forcing them to learn. Visit thestemkidz.com to view our range of maths-based puzzles and toys that'll help your child become a mathematician in the making.
Take A Trip
Many popular tourist attractions also help stimulate young minds. When travelling on a family vacation or simply exploring the sights in your own town, visit math and science exhibits in museums, learning centres, colleges or zoos to show how math relates to teens' interests and hobbies.
When on vacation, ask your teen to create the day's schedule, calculate the shortest walking or driving routes to visit the attractions, or figure out currency exchange rates.
Test The "Truth"
Beyond balancing a checkbook, math teaches analytical and problem-solving skills that are necessary throughout life. Showing teens how to challenge what they are told by analyzing facts and figures in the media and on the Internet will teach them to test statements and think beyond conventional wisdom. Go through the newspaper or online news sites and discuss articles or current issues of interest to your teen. Challenge them to re-create the statistics used to support each side of a debate, or to double-check the charts and graphs for accuracy.
Go the extra mile
Helping teens plan their math education early on can make an impact on their educational and career opportunities later in life. The requirement for a strong math background is no longer just for engineers and scientists, and parents must plan ahead to ensure that their teens are prepared, no matter what career they choose.
Just like English and reading, math coursework builds on concepts learned in earlier grades. Teens need to take a math class every year from middle school through graduation to ensure the most opportunities remain open to them later in life. Know what math courses the schools offer and encourage teens to take classes that challenge them every year, regardless of their school's minimum requirements.
By working with teens to show how math is relevant every day, parents can help ensure their children's personal and professional success in the future.