Ways to build children's confidence in maths
Understanding new things can of course be challenging for children - and for all of us! We inherently hate to fail at new things and that can make us reluctant to engage in the trial-and-error process that is so useful in developing new skills. This applies in all activities, hobbies and especially in numeracy.
Building children's confidence in maths is crucial to helping them develop a positive attitude to the subject. They may face stumbling blocks on their path to becoming accomplished, and that's exactly what our experienced Kumon Instructors are keen to support and encourage. They know that each mistake and misunderstanding is an opportunity for the child to learn for themselves, which will ultimately help the child to become more skilled in the subject. We encourage praise for correct work and taking another look when a mistake was made. Usually, a child can then figure out for themselves where they've gone wrong, so they are supported to focus, look again and work through their previous examples before we step in to help them.
There are several ways that you can help your children gain a more positive experience in mathematical areas, from shape and space to basic calculations. Below are just a few examples:
Show children what they already know
Children will be surprised to learn that they are already mathematicians in the making, and highlighting their innate mathematical knowledge should help to boost their self-esteem. As an example, you could ask children to cut a cake in half and emphasise that they have already shown skills in the area of fractions. Try extending their knowledge further by asking them to subsequently turn the halves into quarters.
They will be excited that they have tackled the foundations of a complex facet of mathematics simply by carrying out everyday activities. Ask children questions that you are confident that they will be able to answer in order to give them the confidence to calculate problems at higher levels.
Help them develop mathematical knowledge through play
There are a number of maths games on the market, as well as many free interactive games on the internet. Making a connection between numeracy and fun can make a child keen to build on their knowledge in this subject.
Asking children to create their own versions of games such as Snakes & Ladders and Snap, with a mathematical twist, will help them take ownership of their development.
The Kumon Maths Programme helps children of all ages and ability levels to develop maths skills and a love of numbers. We believe that every child has the potential to succeed in maths!