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How Parents Can Help Kids Understand and Enjoy Maths (Part 1)

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In the 21st century, teaching maths is no longer just an activity reserved for teachers and private tutors. Parents too could now incorporate activities that would help not only educate their children in maths skills but also help them see how it can be applied to everyday life.

Cultivating such an educational environment can be crucial for a child’s academic development for the long term. Below, I shall share with you some ways you could help your child to enjoy maths together.

Holiday Planning

With the PSLE over, parents might be planning overseas trips for their family. This could be a good chance for you to engage your kids in different kinds of mathematical thinking. Working out how many kilometres you will be travelling, for example, can be an easy way to practise computation skills and develop an interest in map reading. Another calculation you could try is by asking the amount of time needed to travel from one country to another. Older P5/P6 students could even be involved in the planning of the trip. Invoke their sense of challenge by adding extra information.

“If it’s an 8-hour flight from Singapore to Hong Kong, what time should we leave in order to arrive by 4 pm?”

Involving them this way can help build their problem-solving skills in future maths exams.

Gardening

In our garden city, it’s ironic that it can be a challenge to plant a garden in our home, especially when HDB residents lack an entire backyard of soil. However, there are ways you could still incorporate small-scale gardening (using pots and bags) into maths education, especially when many children have an inner desire to get their hands dirty.

You’ll still need to calculate the space needed to place the different pots, the size of the pots as well as the amount of soil needed for each specific plant. Why not get your child involved in such calculations? Estimation skills can be built this way when you have to determine through guesswork how deep the soil has to be. In terms of the fertilisers, parents could even get children to incorporate ratios to calculate the amount of plant food vs water needed.

Next time, I’ll share more of everyday activities you could involve your children with. ‘Till then, work those brains out!

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