Math is everywhere around us. Before you dismiss the previous statement as being applicable only to engineers, finance experts or accountants, think again. Whether you teach art in a school, are a high ranking officer or a stay-at-home mum, the fact is that mathematics surrounds us. From the time you wake up to the moment you set your alarm just before hitting the hay, you are making use of math and its principles to get by day to day life.

From setting your alarm to equally dividing juice for the kids, wrapping a present to wallpapering your room, wondering how much fuel you will need to drive to the grocery store to calculating if you have correct change to buy your groceries, each act makes use of one or more mathematical principles. Math simplifies life to a large extent and there is no way to navigate our way around it.

As much as math is a part of your life, so is it a part of your child’s life. Your child comes across math in her day to day activities too. As she grows up, she will begin to ask questions about them. In order to answer her correctly as well as to retain her interest in the subject, you need to first educate yourself. Often, an off-handed remark from a parent like, “Math is not for me” or “I am no good at it” can have a much longer lasting impact on kids than we imagine. Such negative statements reinforce the belief that some people are just not good in math. Once such beliefs are set, they are hard to shake off. Educating yourself about math and its principles will dissuade you from making such statements in front of your kids. Reading a book suggested by someone, practicing a few sums, networking with other parents, making use of the internet are some very useful ways of educating yourself.

Studies reveal that children learn math best when it involves investigation and gathering information in a fun environment. While math and fun might seem like two ends of the spectrum to some, there are indeed many ways of making them both join hands. One of the foremost ways of injecting fun into the subject is making math crafts a part of your child’s learning crafts. From simple ones to more intricate crafts, math crafts can help simplify many concepts and make them appealing to the kids.

To make problem solving less frustrating, walk your kids through the examples listed in the beginning of each chapter. They might not be aware that the answers to the problems are all listed in the back of the text book. End their moments of agony by introducing them to this fact.

Here is a list of tips that will help your child forge a deeper, happier, and more meaningful relationship with math:

- Point out the fact that each member of the family uses math every day, wherever she might be and whatever she might be doing. This will help reinstate the importance of the subject.
- Praise every little effort they make to understand concepts. All successful attempts must be duly rewarded with appropriate words of encouragement.
- Include your child in all such day to day activities that involve math.
- Make math activities, crafts and games a part of their curriculum.
- Every time your child learns a new concept, sit with her as she solves the first few problems. If she is stuck, pull up your sleeves and solve the problem together.
- Use household items while doing math problems (measurements, geometry, etc.) wherever possible.
- Encourage her to always list out the steps as she solves a problem and reaches a conclusion to monitor her understanding of the concept. Drawing or acting out the problem will have the same benefits.
- Be gentle with criticism. Try to find positives and list them out first before moving on to tell her where she went wrong.

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