Getting Children Maths-Ready

With the upcoming school year around the corner, it is very important to build children’s maths skills

When you see the mystery behind mathematics, you can learn how important and ingrained it is in our daily lives. Imagine how we can change the way children perceive the world around them if maths is introduced in their everyday activities through continuous and exciting learning modes. It also has the added benefit of improving their academic performance. Mathematical literacy is crucial for children to develop logical thinking, problem-solving skills, and reasoning strategies. As they move to a higher-grade year after year, they come across more challenging concepts, making it important to strengthen their understanding and foundation.

The shift of learning structure from physical to online and back to a hybrid in the last two years has led to substantial learning losses. A recent report by McKinsey observed that children studying in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) suffered 12 months of learning loss, compared to the learning loss witnessed in western nations. An Azim Premji report sited 82 per cent of children, on average, have lost at least one specific mathematical ability from the previous year. Our survey with Nielsen highlighted that in the last 18 months, one in every four parents of students up to grade 5 believe learning loss is severe in maths. It increases confusion and fear of maths, lack of concentration, learning loss, and low performance. So, it is very important to build children’s maths skills to prepare them for the next academic year.

With all the advancements in technology and data science, the skill set required for the workplace in the next couple of years will be different from the current one. Complex problem solving, reasoning and ideation, technology design and programming are among the top 10 skills needed for the job market in 2025, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, which maps the jobs and skills of the future.

  • Critical thinking and problem solving

This tops the list of skills that employers believe will become more important in the next five years. What these skills have in common is that they have maths at their core. If you are a mathematical thinker, you tend to be a better problem solver. If you look at how the economy is changing and what kind of skills and jobs are becoming more valuable, you realise that skills with a mathcore at their heart – such as data science, programming, AI and coding – are highly in demand.

  • Maths-focused professions

Careers in finance like Accountants, Statisticians, Cost and Quantitative Analysts, and Economists require a strong background in mathematics. Teaching and mentoring professions are based on the extensive study of maths, helping raise a generation of young minds through disciplinary, vocational, and mental maths learning.

  • Professions that require a maths foundation

Science and Technology is a booming field where we observe the use of maths on every scale including in roles like Data Analysts, Technicians, Blockchain Developers, Scientists, Business Analysts, Consultants, Marketers and Advertisers, and more.

Every child can develop their own sense of comfort with math. This can be achieved by incorporating innovative methods of teaching. Knowing the 'why' behind applying a formula makes problem-solving easier for a growing child. With conventional teaching, it becomes difficult for students to move up the grade ladder and their confidence deteriorates because their foundation remains weak. There is a vital need for newer, more innovative teaching models that can promote intuitive learning. Here’s how parents can help in making their child’s foundation strong enough in order to dispel maths phobia and make them academically ready for the upcoming year:

  • Encourage curiosity and create room for questioning

Nurture CURIOSITY. By introducing children to everyday instances like measuring distances, quantities of cooking ingredients, billing and calculations, parents can create inquisitive and engaging experiences for their children. It is also important to solve students’ doubts, especially the ones that have a prominent link between the previous year’s concepts and next year’s maths curriculum.

  • Build a stronger conceptual clarity

Maths gets complex grade after grade. In the long term, look at it as a way to train children towards becoming future researchers who can find answers to questions that have not been solved. Children actively use their learning and understanding to tackle everyday challenges. Because maths builds on itself, having one concept clear before moving to the next one is important. Use enhanced teaching techniques like interactive videos, game-based learning and DIY activities that simplify maths concepts easily.

  • Gamification 

Children love games and using games to nurture maths skills can have a great impact. Engage them in fun family board games and problem-solving game apps. Use advanced learning platforms that provide visualization, memory-building activities, quizzes, and appreciation stars. This enables effective learning and boosts the child’s confidence.

  • Create a positive attitude toward maths 

Some students need more practice, some need more practical examples, and some need more time to learn certain concepts. A positive line of conversation and attitude around children about maths being an interesting and useful subject can go a long way. Give children an extra push in areas that they usually struggle to understand. Transforming maths from concepts in a textbook to a hands-on practical idea can be a game-changer.

Advances in this direction will create a bigger and more measurable impact. These steps are small ways to reach the bigger goal – Maths Ready for the upcoming academic year – by eliminating maths anxiety and reducing learning loss. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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