Your child hates mathematics?
Your child went to school and your problems began?
Then let me share my experience with other parents.
I would like to share my experience with other mothers. My 8 year old son never liked mathematics even after I tried really hard for the last 6 years to develop love for the precise sciences in him. Obviously, you might call it a BIG statement, especially considering the young age of Andre. Still, I am sure, that the earlier you will start, the better your child will understand the subject. Beginning at the very tender age of 2, I began to teach my son to count. For our counting, I used any handy materials such as apples, pencils, toys and even cups, when we were at home. And, while walking outside, we counted birds, trees and cars. I must say that Andre used to count animated or real subjects enthusiastically. Indeed, he enjoyed these kinds of creative games. But the moment I would open a book or try to explain to him the easiest rules of adding or subtraction, the struggle would start. He would nag, making any excuse not to sit with me, tell me he is bored, or that he cannot understand, etc.
I was trying my best, putting all my possible efforts in introducing him to maths, but sad to say, it looked rather like a waste of my time and a real failure. All my hard work brought NO result at all.
Then, the time had come for him to go to school. But even there the mathematics was the hardest and the most disliked school subject for him. And at home we played teacher and learners to do his homework. I was the teacher and my son and one of his toys, which he liked the most, were my pupils. Andre was pretty keen to play this game and in no time, almost effortlessly, used to complete all his homework. All, except one - mathematics!
began to panic about his schooling future, - how would he cope with maths? One month passed by. According to his school programme, he would be exposed to the first mathematical rules soon. But Andre didn't want to hear the very word mathematics! Leave alone any rules! No matter what I tried - Andre stayed indifferent to mathematics and extremely stubborn in his unwillingness to cooperate not only with me, but with teachers too. He simply didn't want to accept mathematics in his life.
There must be some solution, I thought. I will never believe that I am the only one in this world who is having this problem. Let me do some research. Surely I will come across something useful that other people use for their children's education, I encouraged myself. |
Needless to say, the easiest and fastest research that can be performed in today's time is on the internet. Many websites were read, many stories and even books were downloaded. But with which one to start? How to select the one from so many?
The answer came by itself: without any doubts, all children love illustrations. Therefore, the books with interesting pictures stand out amongst others literature. Bright and amusing drawings, at the same time relevant to the math subject - this is what I was looking for. Putting myself in the shoes of my son, I began to look at the pictures. Most of the stories were just in plain text. It immediately reduced the number of literature from what I had to choose from. Then, looking at the illustrations, I decided to stop at the stories from the book Kind Mathematics. Drawings were about digits, and in funny forms of digits. Besides, I liked the title of the book: Kind Mathematics. Kind, kindness - this is what we all need!
I printed out the first 3 stories that I successfully (and free!) downloaded from the website. Later the same day, when time came for our home school play, I showed the pages to Andre. I also printed the pictures separately - especially to busy him while I was reading.
And... It worked. The amazing illustrations instantly grabbed his attention, and it gave me a chance to read him the first story. Then, second story - about adding numbers. I carefully selected this story which explains some simple rules of maths to see whether this methodology was going to work for Andre. He was listening and looking at pictures. During the stories he even asked me some questions. So, without changing the topic, I read the third story.
To my surprise he didn't ask me to stop, on the contrary, he even took some already read pages with pictures, trying to figure out 'who is who' on the pictures.
There were some questions and activitieis after the stories. The questions were in a playful form but required good attention - through the nature of the answers one could see whether the child really was listening to the story. For the first 2 questions he wasn't sure what to say* but readily answered the rest of questions and agreed to draw digits from 1 to 5, as it was required. Later I understood the reason why he didn't find the answers for the first questions - they were about something that happened in the beginning of the first story, when he was looking at the pictures.
In other words, it was our very introduction to this methodology, and it proved to be effective. I cannot deny this! Even in my seemingly very difficult situation it worked. So I ordered the book. It arrived soon. Even by the cover of this book one can never say that it is about mathematics - it looks much more like a book of play. I opened the book and read its contents. Wow! Many stories on all that I tried so hard to teach my son. Even more than I ever expected!
Slowly, step by step, we read all the stories, usually 1 or 2 per day. For Andre it actually became the most awaited time - he enjoyed the stories, pictures, the story play-form, questions and activities.
Maths can be fun too. Now even I agree with this. Funny personages from the Kingdom of the Queen Kind Mathematics were teaching my Andre about everything from A to Z. From 'why we need mathematics' till how to 'delete and multiply' - there is at least one story on each subject and all in an easy, entertaining fairytale form with eye-appealing pictures.
Dear mother and father, grandmothers and grandfathers. Do not pressurize your little child. If he or she doesn't like something then perhaps it is we who didn't find the right solution - the correct method how to introduce something new into their lives. Do your research, have patience and trust in your children. And there are many books that are of great assistance for education, for teachers in schools and for parents who have chosen home schooling.
Find the correct one for you and your child and follow its teaching. Children's mind in some way like sponge - it can absorb new information if it will be interesting enough. If we try to look at life with their eyes and their approach.
Don't forget that by nature, children love to play, love interesting stories, love to look at pictures and to draw. Our great grandmothers knew this and that is why they used to spend hours by reading their wise stories and educating fairytales. Play and learn - this is indeed the best that can work. With all children, no matter which country, nationality, social status or religion they are. It always worked in the past, it is working excellently in the present, and indeed, it will work in the future too.
Educate your kids, but at the same time do not deprive them their childhoods. School subjects can be fun too!