Children are naturally inclined to spend time and engage in activities that interest them. The Montessori approach to education is based on this principle of self-direction and emergent learning. Therefore, children need to have a life filled with activities they enjoy because it will serve as the foundation for their lifelong engagement in learning. But what if the subject you want them to enjoy is the one they hate the most?
Math has a well-known reputation for being the subject most kids hate. It is not uncommon for parents to hear their children complain about how hard it is to learn math. But what causes so many children to hate the subject? Well, the most common reasons for these are:
1. Children think it’s not very interesting
Most children think math is dull. They don’t get the happiness about formulas and numbers the way they get excited about English, Science, History or other subjects that are easier to connect to. Instead, they consider the subject as irrelevant figures and abstract that is difficult to comprehend.
2. It needs lots of memorization
Many children who struggle with math struggle with familiarizing the formulas, even those basic operations formulas. When in reality, memorization is one part of learning math subject.
3. Math requires a lot of mistakes
You need to make mistakes to learn math; that’s one of its significant rules. Children have to repeat answering the same problems repeatedly until they get it right, and it can be frustrating on their part. Moreover, getting wrong answers every time can affect their confidence, leading them to set aside learning the subject.
If your child is among the many students who hate math, there are ways to help. One of which is the use of the Montessori Approach.
What is the Montessori Approach?
The Montessori approach to education is based on the theory of child development as a natural learning process. It is based on the belief that children should be allowed to develop along their way, guided by their innate interests, rather than being made to adhere to strict rules and standards.
An approach that promotes individualized learning allows each student to take advantage of all the learning resources available in a child-centered environment.
Just because you witnessed your child dislike math now doesn’t mean he will never learn to like it. You need to make adjustments and encouragement to introduce math slowly to your child until they grasp the idea and eventually become passionate about it. Using the Montessori approach in teaching math will pave the way for children to love math.
Ways to Encourage Child’s Passion for Math the Montessori Approach
1. Introduce real-life math
The Montessori environment provides many opportunities for children to be involved with real-life math problems. For instance, your child can weigh vegetables and fruits, measure liquid amounts, determine the area of an object by measuring its length and width in several ways, etc. All these are opportunities to help them rely on what they have learned while having fun at the same time.
2. Integrate Math into other Subjects
Considering math is a universal subject that helps in learning most topics within the school, parents need to integrate this subject as much as possible in learning other subjects. The children will see the connection between Math and other subjects such as Science or Social Studies.
3. Engage them in conversation
The Montessori environment is not only about using the Montessori math teacher to manipulate math facts. This method also allows children to engage in conversation with other children, allowing them to become more independent and learn through oral communication.
4. Be Patient
You must be patient and non-judgmental when your child is struggling to learn something. If you give up too early, then you will only discourage him further. At the same time, you have to set clear goals and give your child positive feedback when he accomplishes his goals.
5. Don’t be too strict on the rules
Although children need to follow some rules, it’s also essential that they are flexible to understand how important those rules are. Learning is not only about following a set of rules that are never broken. It’s about breaking them and learning from them in order to figure out their mistakes themselves.
6. Teach them to count in more than one way
Teaching them to do addition and subtraction from a young age is very important because this builds their initial understanding of mathematics. For example, when children are asked to find out the sum or difference of two numbers by counting in more than one way, they will gradually understand repeated addition and subtraction concepts.
7. Read stories
Reading math stories is an excellent idea because it involves both the child’s imagination and math. In addition, it’s easier for children to get involved in storytime since it’s not just a class of explaining formulas or teaching new concepts but also engaging in pretend play while learning at the same time.
8. Discuss the math problems
Having your child discuss their math problems is one of the most effective ways to understand the subject. Discussing with your child will help them understand why they got a particular answer and give them ideas on how to solve it. Using this approach, children can learn that they don’t have to be afraid of math; instead, they can be proud of their mathematical achievements.
9. Choose age-appropriate materials
You must choose suitable materials for your child so that they can have fun while learning math. For instance, selecting age-appropriate toys like blocks, building blocks, or sandboxes helps children be creative and develop fine motor skills necessary for math.
Material Resources are essential in learning math. Aside from the encouragements, teaching aids are used to convey mathematical concepts to a child. The following are the teaching aids that help a child learn math.
Math Teaching Aids for Kids
Pattern Blocks are an example of manipulatives. This teaching aid is highly recommended when teaching a child how to do math. Manipulative is an object that helps children to understand mathematical concepts. In addition, it allows kids to be engaged in the learning process and have fun at the same time.
Aside from using manipulatives, you can also use picture books to introduce subjects involving math to your child. It uses simple pictures accompanied with written words for children to grasp what they are reading.
Flashcards are effective ways for kids to learn numbers and their relationship with each other through their visual memory and auditory memory (the last number).
Puzzles are another great way to have fun while learning math. Having a different puzzle each day is an excellent way to challenge the child to think creatively and understand the purpose of the puzzles.
This type of board game is another option for a fun yet effective method of learning math throughout playing it. The various board games can help children develop reflexes, strategy, concentration, and overall hand-eye coordination when solving equations on paper.
It is essential to make math fun for young children because it will help them be more attentive to the subject. They learn math in a way that they want to do and not in a way they are asked to do. When looking into engaging your child in this type of environment, remember that it’s not just about you; instead, it’s about how your child learns and how he can develop his interest in math. You have the chance to mold him into a person who is passionate about learning mathematics and who can one day become an esteemed mathematician.