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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Meaningful Parenting- Making 'peace' with Maths not necessarily 'Mathematically Happy'. Part 2

Not necessarily you have to enjoy it. But being at peace with it is important.


Are students who are good at Math, intelligent? Yes.
Are students who are not good at Math, intelligent? Yes.


Over the years Child development researchers have studied Intelligence and come up the with various kinds of intelligence and Mathematical Ability is JUST ONE OF THEM.


IQ - Intelligent Quotient-is related to long-term life success but in which field- depends on you. Research does indicate that childhood IQ predicts academic achievement as well as adult occupational achievement. There is a strong likelihood of 2nd-grade children with highest IQ's enter prestigious professions such an engineering, law, medicine and science. (McCall 1977). This was 1977. We are in 2017.

The definitions have changed so have the occupations children choose. The opportunities have increased manifold and success is no more measured by professions of engineering, law, medicine, and science. There are enormous wealth of career opportunities to choose from now, each appealing to the 'uniqueness' within you. Each satisfying and monetarily rewarding. How much is 'good money' from a career is debatable and will always remain so?


IS MATH OVERRATED? YES.
CAN YOU DO AWAY WITH MATHS? NO.
SHOULD YOU DO AWAY WITH MATHS? NO

Math but cannot be ignored at least till a certain grade level. Its part of a mandatory subject and while you may not really ace it, the attempt should be to not hate it either. Not to forget that real life does involve Math too. It won't be a good idea to not learn Math at all.

HOW TO FIND JOY IN MATHS

It has to relate to you.

Have you ever noticed that any kind of information that you can relate with is better absorbed, understood and remembered?

The same goes for Math. If it doesn't make common sense, if you can’t relate to it with your everyday life, it's difficult to grasp.

Theories can be memorized and produced later but mathematical concept requires understanding and cannot be produced by rote memory.


PRESCHOOL YEARS- Make Mathematics fun and part of regular life. At this age, all that children seek is 'FUN" and introducing Math as 'PLAYFUL FUN' is the responsibility of the teacher at school and parents at home.



Teachers-------- am sure are doing similar work at preschools. If not, then it’s time to redesign what you are teaching and how you are teaching. They need to help the child understand the concept as part of everyday life. Craft activities play activities, classroom activities can all be designed to make ‘Math’ a part of life for them.

Parents------- Play, Laugh and Learn with your child - My failure with Math made me very cautious of how I wanted to approach Math with my toddler. By 2 he knew all his numbers till 100. Through Rote memory for sure but I introduced the numbers while we counted cars that passed by during stroller rides. I counted the number of grapes he ate. I counted everything and for him, 'counting' was normal and fun.  I count the socks when putting them in the drawer. Counted the number of trees that we saw while on a walk. While waiting at the restaurant table, I kept the gadget away.  I counted the spoons and forks and played 'give and take away games' with him.

By now  (he just turned 4 a few days back) he knows counting  till 1000 with some prompts, writing till 100, addition, subtraction, greater than, lesser than, equal to, ascending order and descending order.

Am I racing and 'being competitive'- NO.
Am I trying to cover up for my failures? NO
Do I want him to give an edge in his class? NO

Because he doesn't know these as 'Math'.  To him, these are 'games to play' with his abacus, with his glitter pens, sketch pens, crayons, blocks, beads, and sheets. Games when it’s snowing outside. Games while waiting for Daddy to return from work etc.

Do I want him to ace Math and project him as gifted and talented? NO.
I want him to be at 'peace ' with Math and choose his own 'calling ' in life.


SCHOOL GOING YEARS- That's when not everything can be done playfully.

For the child
  • Do not move on until the concept is crystal clear. And I mean crystal clear only. Math's builds on these concepts. And if the foundation has gone awry, there is little one can do about it.
  • Don't hesitate to ask for help- Teacher/Parent/Tutor- If you still don't understand, discuss it with your parents and look for additional help where you can get. It's true that a class progress cannot be halted because of one student. It’s equally true that one student needs additional help. Discuss with school authorities and see what can be done.
For the Parent 
  • Most of the concepts whether -fractions, decimals, profit and loss, area and perimeter can be effectively understood if applied to real life and explained. Parents have an important role to play here. Shopping receipts can make an interesting example of learning many concepts. Use it. Help your child understand Simple Interest, Compound Interest by involving him in bank related activities that you do. It’s never too early. The explanation though has to be age appropriate.
  • Do not compare either with yourself or his friends or siblings. It’s a conscious choice.

  • Positive Reinforcement for small progress for children who struggle their way through. Saying - "It’s so simple. Why can’t you understand?" is just so not done. It’s not always possible that everyone understands the same way.
  • Respect your child's capabilities and interests- He may still not be comfortable with Math. THAT'S OK.Not necessarily Math as a subject can be everybody's interest. And that is absolutely fine. Your effort is not to make him love Math. Your effort is to not make him hate Math or become Math phobic or any other subject for that matter. A phobia is debilitating.

Try for sure but if it doesn't interest your child, make a conscious choice not to make him feel guilty or 'less intelligent; or his friend 'more intelligent'. Let him choose his vocation.


Remember- What choices you make go a long way in determining choices he will make in his life. You choose positivity and there is a greater likelihood of him choosing positivity. You have to make him learn to continuously make choices in life. Left to itself a lot of negativity creeps in without our knowledge. “It’s, not me”

Above All-------------Be mindful of what you say to your child -  Parents try to empathize by saying “I was never good at math”, or “Math’s was so tough, I always hated it”, but it is not helpful. Instead, encourage kids to embrace the challenge. Who knows in helping your child, you land up helping yourself as you begin to understand those concepts which were a nightmare then.

What will it do now? It will help you feel better and positive. Isn’t it worth a try then?

Click on the link to read Part 1 of the Math-o-phobia
http://www.fourcloverlife.com/2016/11/meaningful-parenting-do-you-or-your.html

Thank you for dropping by. Do not forget to like on FB and share. Drop in your feedback if any.For more such articles on Meaningful Parenting, Mindful Eating, Well-being and Motivation Cuppa,  please visit Four Clover Life at  http://www.fourcloverlife.com/.  


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