How to Nurture the Math Genius in Your Child

As parents, you can help your kids unleash their inner mathematician!

Updated on November 21, 2017 11:11 am

Catherine Zhang

How to Nurture the Math Genius in your Child

Singaporeans have an affinity for numbers. It is evident as the city-state is always on the list of global comparisons of mathematical ability. Math is a core subject taught throughout primary and secondary education. Singaporean kids are always in the competitive race when it comes to this core subject.

However, there’s no truth in the saying “Mathematicians are born, not made." As parents, you can nurture your kids to unleash their inner Math talent and stay competitive in this arena.

How? There is no definite formula to raise a Math wizard but you might find these seven tips useful in nurturing the next Cherlyn Lee:

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1. Practice makes perfect.

Excelling in this subject is just like excelling in sports—it involves practice. In order to develop your kids’ mathematical skills, encourage them to practice solving problems on their own and to not just watch their teachers solve these problems. When you encourage them to practice on a regular basis, this boosts their brain’s capability in solving difficult problems. It creates new neural pathways that will make them easily solve other problems, no matter how difficult it can be. Also, the brain needs a little flexing in order for it to be trained well.

2. Use mathematical activities and games.

In Math, you can never understand things unless you enjoy doing it. We know that Math can be nervewracking but don’t let your kids hate Math by just giving them plain exercises. Device mathematical activities and games that you know they will have fun doing. Puzzles and riddles attract your kids’ open-minded attitude in learning new things and in developing clarity in their thinking.

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3. Make Math a part of your daily activities.

It is inevitable that we use Math every day. Nurture your kids’ mathematical abilities by incorporating it in their daily activities. When you do the grocery, ask them to compare prices and which is the best option. When you cook, ask them to help prepare the ingredients by measuring it. Once you’ve shown them the importance of Math by doing fun activities, your kids will gain an enthusiasm about learning Math even more.

4. Work on their weaknesses.

There are different areas in Math. Your kid might find it easy to explain or describe a mathematical information, but has difficulty to figure out which method should be used to solve a problem and justify the results. There are some instances that kids work well with formulas but not with understanding lengthy mathematical problems. As a parent, you should be able to determine which areas your kids are struggling with to be able to work on it and hone their skills. You must be able to instill in their minds that they can turn their weaknesses into strengths by working hard to learn it and not just to give up on it.

5. Invest in their Math education.

Investing in your child’s education is an important part in the process of raising a Math wizard. Nowadays, parents can choose from a lot of Math enrichment programmes available in Singapore, including Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M), Kumon, Multi Process Model (MPM), and Eye Level Math. These centres offer different kinds of teaching methods, but all of them encourage self-learning in kids. But before you go and enrol your kids, ask first their teachers if they need these kinds of programme to help nurture your kid’s ability in Math. Also, you can talk to the representatives of these centres on what they can offer and gauge which centre will best suit your kids’ capabilities.

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6. Explain Math problems to them.

One of the best ways to teach your kids Math is to pretend that you are a teacher explaining to them a certain concept or a problem. You must be able to deliver the lesson in such a way that you can understand it as well. Make them feel that they are not alone in understanding these Math concepts by making yourself available to explain it to them. Not only that you will be able to nurture your kid’s ability, but also you will be able to create great memories and a special bond with your kid.

7. Just enjoy doing Math with your kids.

Nothing beats the experience when you both enjoy Math. If you want your kid to learn to love Math and be a Math wizard himself, you must also enjoy every bit and piece of this process. Kids tend to love doing things and be excellent in it when their parents are involved in their journey. Also, do not bear in their minds that Math is about winning contests or getting recognitions, but it’s about exposing them to intellectual opportunities and being better in what they do.

It is important to make your kids love Math in order to nurture the Math wizards inside them. However, it is also important for you as a parent to understand that learning Math and honing Math wizards are not about making them champions but about making Math “real” and meaningful to them.


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Cover photo courtesy of Tes Global

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