Why are so many people scared of numbers? Some even feel fear so intense that it qualifies as a phobia—numerophobia or arithmophobia is a thing. These fears have to start from somewhere—you aren’t born with this aversion to numbers.
Teaching our children to be comfortable with numbers is important not only for their performance at school, but also opens up more opportunities to them. (How many people have you heard say “I would have pursued ____ if I weren’t so bad at math”?)
Here are some tips for you to teach your kids to love math.
1. Be a good example
Your kids are more perceptive than you think. They can tell when you’re excited, and when you’re struggling to hold it together. Azadeh Jamalian of the learning software company Tiggly tells Fatherly that parents can transfer their own anxiety about numbers to their children, so they need to stay relaxed. “Parents who think of themselves as not good at math, when they try to help with math homework, they transfer that anxiety,” she says. Show your child that numbers are nothing to be afraid of by being confident in your everyday tasks that require math.
2. Read math to them
Flintobox recommends “reading” math to our children, even when they’re just toddlers. You can use flashcards, books on numbers, number songs, and number stories. Doing this helps your child become comfortable with numbers.
Read more tips on how to make kids love math on the next page.
3. Keep it fun
Contrary to what many people think, math in itself isn’t boring. In fact, there’s so many ways for you to have fun with math. BusinessInsider recommends using toys like Lego to teach them fractions or teach them origami to get them to love geometry.
4. Find what your child is learning at school
According to GreatSchools, knowing what math skills your child should be picking up at his level, you can better find activities to complement what they’re learning at school. Monitor your child’s homework and pay attention to how they solve equations to see how they go about solving problems.
5. Relate math to real life
Kids are sometimes given the impression that math is useless, that they’d hardly need it in real life, when the truth is far from it. Point out the practical purposes of math and involve your kids as much as you can, from comparing prices at the grocery to adding up your bills. Keep your eyes peeled for teaching opportunities—you won’t have to look too far. After all, math is everywhere.
READ: Math made easy: 14 useful math hacks for kids
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