Does the mention of math cause you and your children to cringe? Today’s parents, teachers, and psychologists know that making math fun reduces stress and enhances the learning experience. Students all over America are struggling with math and science. In a recent study it was found that the United States placed 27th out of 34 nations in math performance, significantly trailing behind countries such as Finland, China, Japan, Switzerland and Canada.
Not only is a strong grasp of mathematics beneficial in our daily lives, it is also an imperative prerequisite for advanced careers in engineering, mathematics, business and the sciences. Therefore a student’s ability to grasp the fundamentals of basic math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, can help set the stage for their future academic success.
Tips for making math fun:
Singing promotes learning, contributes to healthy brain development, and releases endorphins. Children are never too young to enjoy songs and many sing before they talk. There are a variety of counting songs that expose children to math patterns and basic math skills. Get started with songs like: 5 Little Monkeys, One Two, Buckle my Shoe, and 99 Bottles of Pop(milk) on the Wall. Songs/rap songs that teach more advanced math facts and concepts can be added to your music library as your child matures.
Bouncing a ball gets children moving, creates a natural environment for learning, and makes math fun.
The Qball is a unique ball that can help make learning math fun and interactive, while also developing a student’s hand-eye coordination. Math games can be played alone, with a partner, or even in a group environment. A number of easy and simple games outlined on qballextreme.com can help students grasp the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
A basic addition game involves one player bouncing the Qball and all players memorizing the number that comes out on top. The same player then bounces the Qball a second time and whichever player can add the two numbers together fastest is awarded a point. This not only teaches a student how to add numbers, but also how to think quickly and exercise their memory. These are all necessary skills in advanced science and mathematics. As a child progresses they can engage in more challenging and difficult mathematical games with the Qball.
Board games motivate children to get away from electronics and explore math concepts. An ancient game that still manages to captivate children of all ages is Mancala. The brightly colored stones and even the sound of them hitting the wooden Mancala board gets kids counting and grouping. Mathematical strategies come into play for older children in this count and capture game.
Resist the urge to complain about math or make statements like “I don’t know why you need this class. You are never going to need to know math like this.” Instead embrace math with a positive attitude and your child will share your enthusiasm. Use little moments like shopping or cooking to practice newly acquired math skills. Your child will see first hand how math is a useful tool.
Applying mathematics throughout the day solidifies math concepts and creates a natural environment for learning. One study assessed the parents of high performing 4th grade math and science students from a number of countries and found a very interesting correlation. The parents of high performing students reported singing or playing number games, as well as reading aloud, during their child’s early years. So getting your child engaged and interested from an early age could potentially be an important key to their future academic success.
Bobby Martyn, the Inventor and Founder of the Qball was looking for a way to improve his eye hand coordination for tennis. His love of numbers and sports merged and motivated him to create the Qball. He believes that students in the United States can excel in math through fun games. For more tips and motivation follow Qball on Twitter and Facebook.