Sines and cosines, logarithms, and functions terrify many people. Math seems to be science for geniuses, and only a few can understand it. But in fact, it’s much easier than that. In this material, we’ll talk about how to properly study this science and share tips to make it stop scaring you.
What is Math
It’s not just arithmetic but a fundamental science of quantitative relationships and spatial models of the real world. Mathematical methods are used in everything from programming to medicine. For example, in pharmacology, they calculate the proportions for solutions and recommended doses of treatment, and in marketing, they count advertising company statistics.
People perceive mathematics differently: for those who were complex and bored in class, it is dry and accurate, while those who are genuinely in love with it call it art. You can develop a good relationship with this exact science at any time. The main thing is the desire to understand it.
How Math is Used in Everyday Life
At school, it seemed to many that this subject would never come in handy in everyday life. Sure, some simple calculations can be done on a calculator, but if you don’t have the gadget handy, you’ll have to use your knowledge. Solving complex equations or recalling the tangent formula is unlikely to be necessary. Still, to calculate how much food you need to cook twice as many pancakes, how much to give for a general gift to a colleague, or to determine when to leave home to arrive at a meeting on time, you will have to calculate in your head.
What Problems do People Face When Learning Math?
Solving Problems Quickly and Incorrectly
It is precisely the case where quantity does not mean quality. In class, some people do tasks quickly but incorrectly. Instead of first understanding the problem and determining what needs to be found, they go straight to the solution. For example, a person might assume that the unknown can be calculated by addition. But at high speed, he will not notice negative numbers in the problem, and it is necessary to calculate differently. So he or she will have to go back to the pain all over again and redo it all. It leads to demotivation, and the subject begins to be associated with failure and negativity.
Getting Lost in the Middle of the Task
Working memory plays a vital role in solving complex math problems. Information mastered earlier, such as a similar example from a textbook or formula, will help with the new issue. But if your memory is undeveloped, it can quickly get confused in building the algorithm for the right actions. Missing just one step can completely throw you off course and come up with the wrong answer.
Do Not Understand their Mistakes
When solving problems, you should always analyze the work you’ve done. Go through the equations and make sure everything is correct. Even if everything seems to be done according to the rules, the answer may be wrong. In this case, it is essential to understand where a mistake was made and determine why the calculations led to it. The ability to analyze and understand one’s mistakes is one of the most important parts of learning mathematics.
How to Learn Math with Your Child
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When a child is afraid of something, they try to face the source of fear as little as possible. It applies to math as well. So the baby gets into a vicious circle: unprepared for the test – got a low grade – aversion to the subject appears, and as a consequence, a complete demotivation. All this will lead to an increase in anxiety and affect the choice of profession.
To avoid this, you must find gaps and strengthen and improve basic knowledge. When studying the subject, focus on how the child learns information better – auditory or visual. Math is an abstract subject, and it’s important to consider a student’s individuality.
Let your child know that this subject is not scary but interesting and should be figured out. Some children find lessons at school boring and easy, while others find it boring and difficult. In modern mathematics, there are many interesting problems that elementary school students can understand. For example, in the book “Mathematics in Your Hands,” there are many exciting and illustrative problems. It is also recommended to find among the different areas of mathematics what is interesting to you personally and tell your child about it. Maybe you like solving geometric puzzles or building polyhedrons from a construction set.
Try playing different arithmetic games. For example, in numbers-neighbors: “I have a friend, she lives in a tall house, some of her neighbors live on the third floor, and others live on the fifth floor. Which floor does my friend live on?” If a particular topic scares the child, think of a relevant game you can make up to figure out the question.
If the child has trouble counting, you can play a board game. The essence of the game is that it helps your child learn to instantly determine the number of objects on the cards without counting them on your fingers. As a result, adding within ten will easily be brought to automaticity. The game is great for children six years and older but no less interesting for students in grades 3-4.
The game makes kids much better at mastering a subject that once terrified them. If you instill an interest in it in elementary school, you can avoid problems with more complex formulas and rules in high school.
How to Learn Math as an Adult
Before you start learning, you should understand what you need math for. It will make it easier to build an individual strategy and choose the right materials and teachers. There are a few basic guidelines for those embarking on the study of this science:
Practice Oral Counting
Oral counting is a useful exercise that teaches us to solve any problem in our minds. It is how we develop our working memory by taking minimal notes, and we get used to solving quickly. Oral counting trains stamina and mental processes and allows us to quickly tune in to the work process.
Start solving examples in small runs at very high speed. As soon as you get tired or make mistakes, stop the process and distract yourself. With this practice, you’ll be able to solve examples faster, and your math marches will become longer.
Don’t Waste Time Rewriting
You can guess a type of example in a second and spend 15 seconds rewriting it. Try to solve examples orally. For convenience, you can make notes in your textbook in pencil or on a rough draft.
Make Each Level Automatic
It is important to understand that if the next level is slower, the previous one was not worked on. Often with difficult material, attention is spent on simpler things that were not automated in the previous step – rewriting, recalling formulas, or calculations.