Mathematical-Puzzles.com


How to motivate kids


Home
Mathematical puzzles

Math problems
5 numbers for pupils

Brain teasers
Puzzles with 9 numbers

For parents
How to motivate kids

Puzzles printout
Download now for free



Some ideas for parents on getting kids to enjoy math!

Children are curious by nature and enjoy learning new things, but unfortunately this doesn't always seem to be the case with mathematics. No matter how good your arguments, the problems themselves are often too monotonous to provide the required motivation. So how do we get kids to have fun when it comes to solving maths problems? How do we stimulate motivation and enjoyment?
Children enjoy imitating what others do. Younger children often watch their older brothers or sisters doing their homework, and are proud when they themselves can manage even the smallest of tasks. They don't need to be forced or rewarded, because the attraction of the task lies in emulating someone else. The downside is that negative attitudes can also be transferred to the child in this way, which is why it's important to communicate a positive attitude to the subject from the very beginning – even if it's not exactly your own favourite activity!
A decisive factor is making it a shared activity, because having to do something all alone often quickly comes to be perceived by children as a 'punishment'. So instead of saying "I already know how to do math, now it's your turn..." it's better to take the teamwork approach.
Our tip
initially involves a bit of time and work, but the success rate is surprisingly high. And the positive side effect of this psychological trick is that it's sure to be good for you – a little mental jogging never did anyone any harm ;-)
You select the relevant level of difficulty at Mathematical puzzles online. Copy the problems or click on Print out math problems as PDF.
Get into the habit of solving a few problems every day. Don't go out of your way to explain or demonstrate what you're doing – your child won't fail to notice it. In this important phase patience is required, so try and keep going until interest has been aroused.
Make a note of some of the simplified Math puzzles for children with 5 numbers or select Print out math puzzles as PDF and leave the problems lying around where they will be noticed.
It would be nice if the initiative came from the child, but if there isn't enough curiosity or if an aversion to math has already set in, this could take too long. If you are sure that your child won't try such a puzzle of his or her own accord you could always have a 'puzzle competition'. This is normally irresistible even to children who don't particularly like math, especially as they see that your puzzles are longer and more complicated.
If you have overcome the hurdle of getting children to do the first trial problems they then should be able to check for themselves if they have found the right solution (by turning the sheet over, for example), so that they don't have the feeling that you are checking their work.
If they get the answers right you should of course be generous with your praise. Even the slightest progress should be welcomed – the main thing is not to exert pressure and to exploit the child's natural urge to play games. We wish you every success!
PS: Don't tell your child that it's "mathematics" – say that it's a matter of solving puzzles, which is of course something quite different! ;-)
Challenging and exciting – what other motivation is needed?

© Mathematical-Puzzles.com | Contact + Imprint