Do you have a little one that utters phrases like: “Wow, math is fun Mom”? If you do, you are without a doubt a very fortunate parent but your little one is even more fortunate.
Math is fun, in South Africa, isn’t a cry that you’ll come across a lot of times. Our schooling system simply doesn’t provide for that – in actual fact we as a country fare among the weakest when it comes to math and science marks and knowledge among pupils.
Universities despair, saying that as much as 60% of first year students aren’t experienced enough in numeracy and literary capabilities to go to university. This post is not about bashing the South African education system, rather it has to do with what you as a parent is able to do to make certain your kids doesn’t become part of the above statistics and can genuinely say math is fun.
Math is just one of those subject areas that many people are more disposed toward in terms of natural ability than others, but because it is also a subject which can be built on stepping stones, it is also a subject that most pupils could pass with the required awareness and tuition. If you’re educated and are familiar with the foundation and additional stepping stones of math you’ll be able to pass it. This is where parents can play a major role in their children’s math education. People are people are people and we all are made in different ways in so many elements that it could be hard to find two people to be the exact same, but interestingly enough we all share one characteristic: we all like to have fun! So, why don’t we all say: “math is fun?” The response to this is straightforward. How can anything that is classified as being challenging, also be fun? This perception of math being daunting is borne out of ignorance – an ignorance perpetuated by parents and poor training methods alike.
So, let’s start putting this right at the level of you the parent. Everyone knows that kids learn best by actively playing and we also know that we all love to have fun even when we are old and toothless! This means that we can start off by teaching our kids skills – including numeracy skills – by way of fun filled games and we can continue to achieve that until the child is in grade 10 and beyond even in the case of math. To solve mathematical skills require numeracy skills and logical abilities. The interesting fact is that by acquiring numeracy skills it also aids the acquisition of logical abilities through the teaching of the build block steps of math and in the process you will be creating a situation of math is fun and not tricky. These activities are freely available through educational toy providers by age group, which means you know at what level your child is learning the basics and discovering math is fun.
By the time your child is school ready, he or she will already understand the basic foundation skills of math and perceive it to be entertaining. It doesn’t mean that the child is ready to be thrown to the wolves. Continue teaching your kids math is fun until at least grade 10 and our universities will laud you and your child will thank you.
The next thing is to convince the Minister of Education to do something about her teachers’ power to make math fun.