There are many ways to teach your kids math. In fact, if you’re gardening, one of the best places to teach basic subtraction and addition is by showing your kids seeds and burying the seeds. You have to understand that math is really very conceptual and you have to come up with concrete examples to turn math concepts into a reality in the minds of your children.
As indispensable as math skills may be in everyday life, some concepts are harder to grasp. Kids are very tactile. They’d rather touch, they’d rather move things around so they can see the concepts of additions, subtraction and, later on, multiplication and division.
Make no mistake about it, you can talk about math concepts until you’re blue in the face and your kids would still look at you like you’re an alien that just sprouted a third head. The only thing that you’ve managed to achieve is to talk over their heads.
A large part of this is due to the fact that mass media has often scared kids about math. They really have. Most of the stuff you watch on cable TV can make language arts easy and natural. The same goes with broad scientific concepts-provided they are entertaining by nature. However, when it comes to theoretical or purely intellectual concepts like maths, the media does a better job scaring kids about how hard or burdensome math is. Your kids aren’t helped by the fact that your average math wiz is depicted as some sort of socially inept tool. In terms of attitude, culture, as well as general perceptions of complexity, math definitely gets the short end of the stick once too often.
You really have to take matters into your own hands and not just assume that the math concepts will explain themselves. Depending on how young your kids are, they might need a little bit more help in absorbing these concepts and, most importantly, experimenting with them in their daily experiences, to see how these concepts work. And the more they see these concepts at play, the more likely it is that they would remember them and use them in their daily activities.
This is why a lot of childhood education specialists are very big on experience-based teaching. They know that teachers standing in front of a blackboard and writing down concepts on the blackboard can only go so far. Your kids are smart, but you really have to demonstrate how these concepts affect them in real life.
The effect must be something that they can not only see, but something that they can also touch, hear, taste, and smell. This is why gardening with your kids using math concepts works really well. You can also teach your kids a lot about math by asking them to help you bake.
It’s All About Proportions
What does baking have to do with math? Well, actually quite a bit. You are also able to witness a lot of basic chemistry when you bake.
To bake a great loaf of bread with the best bread maker, amazing muffins or some scrumptious cookies, you really have to pay attention to the ingredients. I’m not just talking about getting the very best quality ingredients, I’m also talking about their measurements. The measurements have to be precise and they have to be adjusted the right way. Why? Modifications to one, impacts other ingredients. Teaching your kids to spot this goes a long way in ensuring a great tasty loaf of bread each and every time.
You have to remember that two might use the same recipe for great tasking cookies, but chances are, only one of them can actually come up with great tasting cookies. This happens quite a bit because people do not measure their ingredients properly. While you are given a little bit of a leeway by the people who wrote those recipes, the leeway is often very narrow. You only have so much wiggle room until you change either the texture, taste or consistency of whatever it is you’re baking.
By teaching your kids how to measure the ingredients of the bread and other baked goods you are baking, you go a long way in teaching them a high degree of precision and attention to detail. These are the skills that will not only help them piece together all the otherwise confusing math concepts that they’re learning, but you’re also teaching them skills that can pay off handsomely throughout their lives.
The more precise somebody is, the more successful that person can be, the more a person double checks their work and makes sure that everything they did fits certain specifications can develop habits that can make for a very rewarding career in the future.
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