How To Motivate Your Child To Learn Maths

When math homework or math class is mentioned, most children would groan and dread doing the work and going for class. However, there are ways which parents can help to motivate their children to learn mathematics.

Mathematics is considered one of the harder subjects in school to many. Many students who feel that mathematics is difficult would often avoid mathematics whenever they can. However, mathematics is an important subject in many career paths. Even arts-based programmes tertiary education levels have compulsory math-based modules.

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Why Your Child Doesn’t Like Maths?

Before we find out how to motivate your child to learn maths, we need to understand why your child does not like learning math. Learning something is immediately easier when you like it. By understanding why our children dislike mathematics, we can then determine methods to overcome this and help motivate them to learn maths effectively.


Many children have the mindset that math is difficult. As a result, they feel defeated by maths and accept it. Instead of trying to get better at math, they concede to being bad at math and don’t bother trying anymore.

Doing something that you aren’t good at is often dreaded as it just doesn’t feel good. Some children have a fixed mindset that they will never become good at it and thus completely giving up on it even without trying at all.

Insufficient Support

For many children, mathematics is a challenging subject that they may grapple with. Regular classes in schools generally teach according to a specific pace. They are unable to slow down for slower students nor speed up for faster learners. As such, the pace of learning might not be suited to your child.

For children who struggle, they might embarrassed to ask questions out of embarrassment. Additionally, there might not be anyone who is able to help them with their homework at home.

On the other hand, students who are faster learners might not be reaching their full potential. If classes in school are too slow for them, they could start to find mathematics boring.

Lack Of Interest

For both fast and slow learners, mathematics could become boring or complicated because of the lack of interest in the subject. For young children, it is hard to understand what mathematics is beyond being a subject taken in school.

Children think simply. If they don’t understand it, they don’t like it, and they will not want to do it.

How To Motivate Your Child

The best time to cultivate motivation toward learning mathematics is now, when your child is just getting started in mathematics. If their dislike towards mathematics is not tackled, they might carry a negative attitude towards mathematics all the way to adulthood where it might be difficult to change.

Change Their Mindset

While children are still young, it is possible to cultivate a good mindset for learning.

The way children are raised and their experiences in school that mindsets are formed when people are children. Two mindsets that develop in our early life are fixed mindset and growth mindset.

Children with fixed mindset are taught that they should look intelligent instead of loving learning. People with fixed mindset are often concerned with how other people see them.

On the other hand, children with the growth mindset are taught to explore and embrace new experiences. They see mistakes as part of the process of learning and are willing to try out new things.

In order to promote the growth mindset, parents can focus on the process rather than the outcome. Instead of praising their child by calling them smart or intelligent, parents could commend their child based on the effort and time put into a project. Doing so helps children to understand that their efforts, determination and hard work can lead to learning and growth.

Such a mindset when applied to learning mathematics can help to motivate your child.

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Provide Support

For children who might be shy to ask for help in school, finding support at home is crucial. Encourage your child to share their opinion and feelings regarding what they are learning. This way, an open environment where they can openly share their doubts and worries is created.

When children are not afraid to share their thoughts and ask questions, it makes it easier for them to find support from parents at home. Parents can then find ways to assist their children. For example, parents could teach them concepts they were unable to grasp in class or seek external help.

Parents also play a crucial role in providing moral support towards learning for children. It is important for parents to continually encourage their child and listen to their opinion as well.

Apply To Real Life

Some children lose interest in mathematics because they do not see how mathematics is relevant in their lives. Applying math to real life situations is a great way to motivate and allow them to practise math.

One way to do this is at the supermarket. Parents could ask their child to compare product prices and calculate total prices on the next family grocery run.

When children see how mathematics relate to everyday situations it makes it more interesting than simply being a school subject.

Don’t Pressure Them

Education is important and we understand that parents want the best for their children. However, exerting too much control on children is not good.

When a child feels like they are being controlled and pressured, they are more likely to give up and don’t bother voicing out their opinion. It is important to know your child’s opinion and to afford them some control over their own learning.

When children have the freedom to choose, they are more likely to be interested and motivated in what they learn. For example, instead of forcing them to do model drawing, parents could offer them a few options on which topic to start with.

Motivate Your Child with MLGs

Maths Learning Group is a Maths Tuition Centre in Singapore. With more than 15 years of teaching experience, Mr Lawrence Ong is NIE-Trained and an ex primary school teacher. Here at MLGs, we strive to motivate children in learning math by catering to their learning pace and style.

We offer primary school maths tuition both in group and private settings to help children to achieve their learning potential.

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