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How to Get Your Kids to Love Math

Many busy parents today hold full-time jobs while running a household, and may find it hard to incorporate numbers and math into their daily schedule. Boaler explains that math doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming, and she offers some easy and educational ways to integrate math lessons into everyday life. She suggests making math problems out of ordinary household objects. For example, give your child a five-liter jar, a three-liter jar, and some water, and ask him to measure out four liters of water exactly, using only the two jars.

"In my own home, I choose to work on math for ten minutes in the morning, when my children are fresh and almost alert. I also talk about math in the world with them, whenever it comes up. We count cars… we talk about patterns in the garden and house. It isn't necessary to do a lot of math; it is more important to be happy about math and to give a sense of excitement and enjoyment," says Boaler.

Curing Math-Phobic Parents

A fear or aversion to math has led to widespread math anxiety, especially among parents who may have had a traumatic math class when they were children. Boaler explains that the worst thing parents can do is tell their child they hate math. In her book, Boaler points out that it's important for parents who hated math in school to start all over again as adults. She believes that parents, like children, need to get a sense of real math and not the math that is taught in school. There is no reason any parent should be negative about math, even if they had an unpleasant experience with math when they were younger.

"If parents can rid themselves of the false image of math they developed in school and start learning all over again with their children, it is very likely that they will enjoy math and find it surprisingly accessible."

For more math and early learning activities, visit our Activities Center.

Click here to purchase What's Math Got to do With It? How Parents and Teachers Can Help Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject.



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