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How to incorporate Mathematics in child’s daily life activities?

  • 2 November 2022

“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” — Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator 

Many people did not like mathematics as a child and many still don’t. Sometimes, the same attitude is passed on to the child. Your child’s phobia and unease can be changed to enjoy by creating love for Mathematics. 

Children generally do not like Maths because they think that it is boring, based on repeated practices, and has its own complex language. With hands-on material during teaching practice to teach a concept will help to break the monotony and makes the topic interesting. Children will start learning Maths. 

Key to make Math interesting: Relate it to everyday life

Can you imagine a world without Mathematics? From taking measurements, estimating the quantity and quality of clothes, choosing the color theme, estimating the cost and profit, while cooking, visiting banks and ATMs- Mathematics is omnipresent. Math is retained longer when it is infused with hands on activity, fun materials and lab activities where in logical and scientific reasoning also develops. 

Training to apply mathematics in everyday life can be started at early age. Here are some ideas for parents based on different age groups: 

  • For toddlers: Count the number of crayons you give them. Tell them, “Let’s count the crayons together, one crayon and one more crayon makes two crayons.  Then hand them two more and finish off with “so you have 4 crayons in total”. This helps them to get an idea about the numbers and counting. By giving them a few different coloured crayons will enable them to learn sorting and counting. 
  • For elementary school children: Have them count the different kinds of animals, vehicles they see on the road while travelling. After reaching the destination, ask them about the number of animal and vehicles did they see on the road, also ask them to compare the two numbers. This gives an idea to them how can comparison happen using more than and less than.  
  • For upper elementary school children: You could have discuss the concept and expressing the numbers as a fraction, and then compare. 
  • For middle and high school children: When you go shopping, ask them to mentally estimate the cost price before the discount. This enables them to learn the concept of percentage. When in a super market, in the grocery section based on the price per gram, ask them to calculate the amount for the quantity you are buying. You can introduce your children to banking, ask them to keep track of the credits and debits on the passbook, enable them to calculate the rate of interest on the savings account and teach them to write a cheque. 

At last I would like to end up by saying Mathematics is an essential discipline in today’s world. It is a powerful tool for understanding the world around us and our perspective of the important issues facing us as individuals, families, businesses, and nations. Math surrounds us; we see and use math skills and capabilities every day–from balancing our checkbooks to advertising agencies to doctors; from retailers to builders, lawyers and accountants.  

Each one of us needs some level of specific mathematics knowledge, and should aspire as well as inspire to learn with every growing day. 

Thoughts by: 

Bhawna Khosla 

Secondary- Maths Facilitator at Oakridge International School, Mohali

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