Don’t Teach your kids math!
Don’t be mistaken, this does not mean that you should avoid math! Actually, you should expose your child to lots of math-rich learning opportunities!
What I do mean is that you should not be the one showing your child what to do when it comes to math. He or she should work to figure it out/solve the problem on their own.
Watch to learn why and find out what you can do to help your child become a mathematician!
Math Mindset Issue: We need to show our kids the steps to solving a math problem
EEK! This couldn't be farther from the truth!
It is time to overcome this math mindset issue that so many parents (and teachers) get hung-up on.
We are not the all-knowers of how to solve math problems. We should not teach kids the procedural ways to solve math problems (like we were taught when we were growing up)!
We think that if we don't show them what to do, they won't be able to solve the math problems.
And this is not true. Let me explain to you why.
The problem with how WE were taught math
Do you have a positive relationship with math? Do you feel like you have a strong mathematical conceptual knowledge?
Or are you like me, do you rely on using steps or procedures to solve most math problems?
I thought I was good at math when I was growing up. I could add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
However, when we got to fractions, everything changed. I did not understand fractions at all.
With fractions, I completely depended on the procedure to help me solve fraction problems.
And guess what? I passed my fractions tests. (I am good at memorizing steps and procedures).
However, I did NOT have a conceptual understanding. I was using an "answer-getting" approach to math.
This worked for me all the way up to high school and then all my memorizing steps and procedures left me confused as I encountered more complex math problems.
My foundation from elementary school was all based on memorizing steps and procedures, so when it came to thinking about complex math problems, I was out of luck.
I never learned to think because I was taught what to do.
You do not need to, and should not, teach your child the steps to solving a math problem.
Kids are born with an innate ability to figure things out and problem-solve. By showing them what to do you are essentially teaching them how to NOT think.
Instead of showing your child what to do, you should provide your child with lots of math experiences and give them the opportunity to try to figure it out and solve it on their own. That will help them build deeper connections, have a greater math conceptual understanding, and make meaning of math on their own.