# How to Help Your Children Learn Math: 4 Key Ideas

**Tips on how to support your children when it comes to studying and learning mathematics.**

With the advent of virtual education, many parents have had to help their children learn concepts that, because they did not have a face-to-face teacher, they did not fully understand.

While the contents of primary school and the first years of secondary school are relatively simple, the subject of mathematics is one of the most complicated to teach, especially if we take into account that many adults have completely forgotten the formulas that their children now have to learn.

**Here we are going to see some guidelines to understand how to help your children to learn mathematics.**The most important thing is to avoid that our offspring are afraid and even disgusted to have to study them.

## How to help your son or daughter study and learn math?

Every parent wants their children to learn and to be smarter and smarter than they are. Every family wants the next generation to surpass them in both opportunity and knowledge, and so they rely on school, as a source of learning, to provide them with everything they need to know so they can grow up healthy and become self-sufficient, functioning individuals when adulthood arrives.

However, as a result of the pandemic, especially during the months of confinement, many parents have had to include in their daily lives some of the work that their children's teachers used to do. Although classes have gone from face-to-face to virtual, primary and secondary education has a lot of content that can only be clearly understood if it is explained face-to-face, without devices in between.

For this reason many parents have found themselves having to explain to their children the contents of class, more or less defending themselves by trying to remember knowledge they left behind so many years ago. **All subjects have content that is a little difficult to remember, but one of the most difficult for parents of children of all ages to remember is mathematics.**. The problem is not only remembering how to do certain operations, but also that it is difficult to explain them.

Fortunately for many parents who are still struggling with the subject of numbers, formulas and calculations, here are some tips that will help them to help their children learn mathematics.

### 1. Learning together

As we said, many parents have trouble remembering math. This is one of the subjects that we had most crossed, even when we reach adulthood, a time when many people either forget what they once understood or, directly, they did not even manage to learn it.

However, now that it is our turn to explain it to our children, we are obliged to learn it. As parents we should see ourselves as companions in the path of knowledge of our children more than their guides, and mathematics is a good example of this because while we try to explain it to our offspring we are learning it again.

A very good tactic for our children to learn quickly and have a good time along the way is to **pretend that we are both learning it, something that in reality is not far from the truth.**. It is true that as parents we have a natural desire to provide help to our children with our experience, but this is impossible if we do not master what we have to explain.

It is better to accept that there are things we still have to learn or, at least, review them. If we are faced with something that we have not mastered, we should be honest with our child and tell them that this method or exercise is new to us, but that we can work together to understand it and learn it. **we can work together to understand and learn it.**.

### 2. Start with the simplest things

Learning something new, especially if it is a mathematical concept, can be very overwhelming. Given the complexity with which many students and parents view mathematics, it is best to start with the simplest things, **the right thing to do is to start with the simplest things, going little by little, making sure that we understand everything we are looking at.**. At the beginning it pays to be conservative and not assume that our son or daughter has mastered concepts from previous lessons.

Depending on the age of our child, we can check if he or she is really understanding in an entertaining, calm and educational way. **Especially with young children, it is essential to use physical objects, such as toy pieces, buttons, coins, or anything else to see if he or she is understanding the concepts in an entertaining, calm and educational way.** or anything else to see if they are understanding processes such as adding, subtracting, dividing, pairs, multiples of a number...

Many children see mathematics as something quite abstract and it scares them. In these cases, to prevent this fear from increasing, it is better not to make them answer an exercise to prove that they know it or to ask them out loud if they know how to do what is being asked.

If the child shows signs that he/she likes mathematics, perhaps he/she will be happy to do all this, but if not, the only thing we will achieve is to make him/her more afraid if we ask him/her in such an invasive way. **Every parent should know his or her child's strengths and weaknesses and, in the event that he or she mathematicizes them** and, in case mathematics is one of them, teach them in the least distressing way possible.

### 3. Make them useful

Everything taught in school will end up being useful someday, to a greater or lesser extent. Although mathematics is one of the most useful things we can get out of it on a daily basis, there are many children who still see it as very abstract, so much so that they wonder what it will be useful for, especially considering the existence of calculators.

Obviously there are certain mathematical calculations that if you learn to do mentally are an interesting skill but not something that you can find a daily use for, unless you are a mathematician by profession. For example, knowing how to divide 354,345 by 21,987 without having to write it down on a piece of paper is something that is not going to be very common in our daily lives.

But **this does not mean that in the course of our lives we will not have to do any mental arithmetic.**. There are many everyday situations in which we will have to calculate quickly to get by, such as being in the supermarket with a budget of 40 € and see what we can buy to eat this week.

The best way to teach mathematics is to make it useful. One of the current trends in their teaching is to turn learners into "problem solvers", making them skilled at reasoning and applying what they have learned in their daily lives.

We can see if they have internalized the concepts by making everyday tasks such as eating, cleaning or shopping into real mathematical exercises. For example, we can ask them to calculate how much rice we will need for 6 people if we know that one person needs 50 grams, or ask them how many eighths there are in a quarter of a pizza and other similar exercises.

### 4. Avoid generating fear

There are many parents who confess to their children that they have never been good at math. This, which can be seen as an innocent confession, is very detrimental in the learning of mathematics and makes something that in itself does not have to be difficult to learn become a real odyssey for the little one.

The real problem is not that there is some sort of malignant gene that makes the whole family bad at math, but that there is a culture of fear that has been generated in the family. **a culture of fear of mathematics has been generated.**. As it has a bad reputation in the family, the youngest children grow up in an environment in which mathematics is even seen as a phobic object.

This is very easily reflected when it comes to teaching mathematics. If parents have had bad experiences with mathematics, it is very likely that they will even panic when trying to explain it to their children.teaching mathematical concepts that they have not mastered can generate what is colloquially called math anxiety, the irrational fear of any mathematical aspect.

The risk of this fear is that **the fear can be transferred to your child and have consequences in their academic performance, as well as making them fear both math and science.**It can make them so afraid of math that they actually have a hard time in the subject. It can even influence their decisions in life such as deciding not to study what they would like to do simply because they have a subject with numbers.

A simple trick is to avoid thinking that we are actually doing math, we are simply teaching our son or daughter to learn useful tools for life. We can even give it a friendlier name, such as "problem solving" or "computational tools," anything that reflects the skills to be learned.

(Updated at Apr 12 / 2024)