5 Mistakes Parents Make when Teaching Math

Watch out for these everyday mistakes that affect your child’s interest in Math.

As parents, we do not want to make our children feel bad and not experience the difficulties in life. So in simple things like choosing a toy or studying for a quiz, we try to guide them the best way we can – and sometimes a little too much. Here are the mistakes parents usually daily that has an impact on their enthusiasm towards Math.

1. Doing everything for them

Allowing your child to struggle is sometimes necessary. Challenges will teach your child resilience. For instance, opening a sealed jar for them after they’ve only tried to open it once, or finishing a particularly challenging homework exercise for them ay seem like trivial things but overtime, it develops a habit of dependency. In enrichment centers like S.A.M, trainers can help your child become independent learners by not spoon-feeding them. The S.A.M trainer guides your child and let them explore on their own to find the answer.

2. Providing too many options

Though everything is at this generation’s fingertips, having too many options can cause your child to become overwhelmed and indecisive. This is a common scenario especially in a toyshop. You can ask your child to pick only one toy. More often than not, they will want everything or will not choose because having all the choices can cause them to become withdrawn. You might end up choosing for them. Make it easier by offering a few choices–within a certain budget, for instance–but still allowing them to make the decision. When you enroll your child in S.A.M, you can get tips from our trainers how to ask “leading questions”, which is very effective in teaching Math. This can also be used to narrow down the child’s options and assist him in making the decision for himself.

3. Making decisions for them

Be patient. If you are always in a rush and are in the habit of deciding for your child, take a step back and think if this would deprive them of lessons worth learning. It can be as simple as ordering for them at a restaurant when they’re taking too long. Let them verbalize what they want. This builds their decision-making skills as well as their communication skills. Critical thinking is important for children to slowly realize that choosing is a complex process and not just “because they want it”. There are factors such as taste, price, amount etc. Understanding these complex thinking also encourages them to respect the decision.

4. Allowing them to be lazy readers

Yes – math and reading go hand in hand. How else can a child solve a word problem if he doesn’t comprehend it? Not nurturing a love for reading and learning can be harmful to their development. They don’t have to be voracious readers; they just have to be willing enough to sit quietly and finish a short story or a few chapters without reaching for the nearest gadget or remote control. Make reading fun by easing them into it. Don’t pressure them. You can try having a side-by-side reading time to make it a fun bonding experience for the family.

5. Force memorization

Memorization is important for quizzes, exams and school work but it is important also to understand the reason why they need to memorize the whole multiplication table. A parent can and should explain this to their children and not just spank them when they stall in reciting their multiplication tables.

It takes a village to raise a child and you need all the help you can get. You can always ask for help at your nearest SAM center so we can assist your child to learn with the best in Math and apply it in their everyday lives. S.A.M Singapore Math is an enrichment program for kids ages 4 to 12 years old. We have more than 35 branches nationwide in the Philippines.