5 Best Kept Maths Secrets Parents Should Know

Do you find it challenging to get your children to learn Maths? Here are some useful secrets to help get them going:

1. Study smart, not study hard

Often, children may underperform in Maths when they have a poor grasp of the fundamental concepts. This might be due to that fact that they are learning Maths through rote memorisation and practice, without truly understanding the concepts or the problem-solving process.

Understanding concepts is very important. For example, 7 x 6 is 7 groups of 6 objects within each group. It is not just about memorising the multiplication table. Understanding the root concepts enables your children to figure out their own answers even if they forget the multiplication table.

Maths questions are usually non-routine nowadays, and they challenge your children’s minds in different ways. Remember – the process is more important than the product.

2. Demonstrate ideas with concrete examples

Questions involving ‘less than’ or ‘more than’ in problem sums, for example, can be quite confusing for some children. You can demonstrate these ideas more clearly by using everyday objects such as paper clips or dried pasta pieces.

For example, to illustrate 3 more than 4 – place 4 paper clips on the table in a line, then add 3 more paper clips slowly to demonstrate ‘more than’. Instead of memorising the answer 7, your children can see for themselves what ‘3 more than 4’ actually means.

3. Take sufficient time and care to read the question

Children often do not get the correct answer because they tend to read the question incorrectly, which is different from not understanding the question. Maths is more than just about numbers as it requires a significant amount of language processing. It is important for children to build on their language skills in order to read questions correctly.

4. Learn in small incremental steps

Because Maths places great emphasis on conceptual understanding, practising at home in daily bite-sized chunks is better suited to children’s attention spans, rather than cramming a lot of information in one day.

Let your children learn in small incremental steps to build upon their knowledge day by day. Over time, a much stronger Mathematical foundation can be built this way.

For instance, you can start your children on practices for 15 to 30 minutes per day, gradually increasing the duration over time, if required. Alternatively, you can get them to complete one more question than the previous day. Also, create a consistent habit of practice by setting a specific time during the day for your children to do so.

5. Use real-world examples as stories

If you think about it, Maths is everywhere. For example, to explain what 1/4 means, you can illustrate it with a story about 4 children wanting to share a birthday cake. What do we do? What if there are 8 children who want to share the same cake? Will each child get more or less cake? Children learn better when they can see mathematics being applied in the real world.

With the secrets now revealed to you, you can nurture your children on their Mathematical journey of learning!

Find out how to raise an intelligent child. Click here to download our free e-book!

Singapore Math Heuristics: Draw a Table, Make Suppositions and Use Before-After Concept

Heuristics, in the context of problem-solving, are a set of strategies to help students solve mathematical problems. Although problem-solving is by and large the process of working towards a goal to which a solution may not be immediately present, it is important that problem solvers (or students) are not only aware of what they are […]

Singapore Math Heuristics: Solve Part of the Problem, Simplify the Problem and Work Backwards

Problem-solving in mathematics helps children develop reasoning and communication skills that are transferrable and important life skills. Reasoning is required on three levels when children solve word problems. First, they use reasoning to recognise what information is provided or missing. Then, they use reasoning to figure out what information they need to find. Finally, they […]

Singapore Math Heuristics: Make A Systematic List, Guess And Check, Restate The Problem In Another Way

The skills children pick up in math are indispensable; they can be applied to other academic subjects and to solve real-world problems in their daily lives and future work. The Singapore Math curriculum focuses on problem solving. Through problem solving, children develop thinking skills such as creative thinking and critical thinking. When children analyse math […]

Singapore Math Heuristics: Act It Out, Draw A Diagram, Look For Patterns

In part one of our Singapore Math Heuristics series, we gave an overview of the 12 heuristics in Singapore Primary Math syllabus, with tips from the curriculum team at Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) on how to solve various math word problems using them. To recap, heuristics are methods or strategies students can use to solve complex […]