## Get Kids to Enjoy Problem Solving in Math with These Tricks

I never could figure out how a rubix cube works. Apparently, Justin Bieber is good at it (I just saw a video of him solving a rubix cube puzzle. Problem solving in Math (like solving a rubix cube puzzle) is a necessary skill we all need every day. Apart from rubix cubes, there are tons of mathematical problems we encounter on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, most kids hate math, and most adults, too. Mathematics and I never had a great relationship until I was 26 years old. When I was younger, I hated Math. Later in life, I realized that I needed it.

From horror teachers to bad test scores, Mathematics has somewhat become a measurement of intelligence. Let’s admit it. When someone says they’re good in Math, we automatically think that he/she is a smart! This perception by many may have caused to lower some kids’ self-esteem, which they may have brought into their adulthood.

Early on, I want to teach Zeeka that  Mathematics and problem-solving is fun! In order to do that, I went on to look for common reasons why people dislike Math. Here are the things that I found.

### Solving problems can be frustrating for them.

Schools follow a curriculum that doesn’t follow everyone’s timeline. This means teachers teach Mathematics, give tests and reviews, and grade students according to their lesson plan schedule and not according to the kid’s current skills.

Every kid has a different speed and level of understanding. Most kids today have minimal mastery of arithmetics, especially multiplication and division. So it’s expected that they will also have a hard time when they reach higher levels of mathematics.

This lack of mastery can be frustrating. And so, they end up disliking the subject all the more.

### Incomplete and incompetent instructions

Sometimes the challenge also lies in the way Mathematics is instructed to students. Most Math teachers also have a stigma that doesn’t help much.

The traditional way of teaching Maths is through blackboard and chalk, with teachers scribbling formulas on the board. I remember staring on the board trying to understand the equations only to find out I needed to copy it before it was erased. And it sucked not having the time to really get to understand what was being discussed.

There are also times when teachers don’t give full instructions. Some even expect students to know how to do the equation based on what the books say. This expectation can cause some kids to struggle.

### The subject causes personal anxiety and embarrassment to some students

Most kids dread being called in front of the class to solve equations on the board. It’s embarrassing and nerve-wracking for some, especially when you don’t get the answer right.

And most of the time, the teachers are not as encouraging either. Most teachers get easily frustrated when kids don’t get the answer right away. This results in more anxiety for the students and creates a negative impact on the subject.

### Students rarely see the value of Mathematics in their daily lives

For students, Mathematics only represent numbers and symbols. What they fail to realize and what we often forget to tell them is that Math is present in our daily lives.

The patience and the mental requirements needed in Mathematics make them better problem solvers and also increases their critical thinking skills. It helps them process real-life situations and challenges pragmatically and objectively.

Attitudes in Math greatly depend on how kids experience it for the first time, so I make sure Zeeka gets to maximize hers.

So here are some tips on how to make Math enjoyable for kids.

1. Play puzzles and games

The best way for kids to enjoy Math is through play.

Puzzles are a good way to exercise a child’s logic. It introduces them to shapes, sizes, and correlation. It also helps kids improve their fine and gross motor skills and spatial abilities.

Make it fun by playing counting games or putting numbers on puzzles to help them learn about sequences and one-on-one counting.

You can check out this website for cool Math puzzles and games ideas to try with your little one.

1. Never say you weren’t good in Math

Remember how mindset plays a strong role in how your kids will respond to Math. So don’t let them hear you say that you’re not good at it or if you dislike the subject.

It’s important to make them feel at ease when they’re solving problems. And it’s also vital for them to give it a try first and acquire a “never give up” attitude.

Also, be careful with how you talk about correcting mistakes.

The key to kids enjoying Math is to let them realize that they can have a do-over. Kids need to know that mistakes are normal and they can always correct them. Make sure to choose the words you use when giving instructions about corrections and always be patient.

1. Show them how to apply it in real life

Kids need to understand that Math is an inevitable part of life. And the best way to do it is to show them how it applies to everyday things.

One of the best ways to show the value of Mathematics is by cooking or baking.

The actual process of baking can help kids understand the need to follow a step-by-step guide to get the desired outcome. Adding an ingredient too much, too little, or too soon can affect the end result.

Check out our baking session at Nobu Hotel! Zeeka and I definitely had fun while we had our cooking class.

https://mommyginger.com/staycation-at-nobu-hotel-and-family-bonding-at-dreamplay.html

Make it fun for them, especially for young kids. Count the cups and spoons you use or ask them to read out the recipe to you aloud. Teach them about halves and wholes while cutting. The best part of it is you get to have your cake and eat it too.

1. Enroll them in Math enrichment centers

Math enrichment centers can help kids enjoy the subject with the help of the right level and well-trained supervision.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Children get to experience Mathematics to the fullest because they learn it according to their own pace. Teachers are also expertly trained to assess and recommend the right levels that will enhance their skills.

One of the best ways to experience Math is through Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM Singapore Math. I wrote about it here: https://mommyginger.com/seriously-addictive-mathematics-or-sam-singapore-math-what-you-need-to-know.html

SAM Singapore Math makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math.

Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts. With this approach, no memorization in Math is needed. Students learn through discussions with trained and certified teachers and also improves their conceptual understanding skills through play. Unlike traditional math lessons from school, S.A.M. Singapore Math helps kids learn math through logic and understanding the ‘why’s’ before doing the ‘how’s’.

Problem solving in Math need not be difficult for kids. But with the right tools, certified trainers, and motivation, Math enrichment programs like S.A.M. Singapore Math can definitely be a good investment.

Do you have any tips on how problem solving in Math fun for kids? Share them with us below.

## Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM Singapore Math: What You Need to Know

I’ve heard good things about SAM Singapore Math from mommy friends in the past. And now that Zeeka is in school, I’ve also been thinking about how I can help her enjoy mathematics.

But before I make any decision, I make sure to do my research first. So I decided to get to know more about Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM is a Mathematics Learning Program from Singapore.

Seriously Addictive Mathematics or S.A.M. Singapore Math was founded in Singapore by Samuel Chia and Lau Chin Loong in 2010. It is a multi-awarded enrichment program catering kids from four to 12 years old.

The program is based on a syllabus created by Singapore’s Ministry of Education. It was designed to develop students’ higher-order thinking such as problem-solving, metacognition, critical thinking, and logical reasoning through mathematics.

When I visited Seriously Addictive Mathematics in Greenhills, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I just know that Singapore is a country that is known to have a world-class education system based on a combination of leading psychological, educational, and socio-economic studies of the day. This resulted in students getting access to the best ways to learn, retain and comprehend information.

A few years later, the change in curriculum led to Singapore students consistently topping the mathematics literacy rankings in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study (TISS).

Check out the rankings below:

S.A.M. Singapore Math is modeled after the world-renowned Singapore Math curriculum and developed by experienced Ministry of Education (MOE) teachers. S.A.M’s award-winning curriculum and pedagogy is the most relevant and most comprehensive Math enrichment program today.

What makes S.A.M. Singapore Math Unique

I’m sure most of you would agree when I say that we all hated Mathematics at one point. But I’m also pretty sure that we had that one teacher who made Maths easier because they took the time to explain the why’s and how’s of the problem.

That’s one of the biggest problems with traditional Mathematics taught in schools.Traditional Math is too focused on memorization and mathematical procedures and formulas. And because of that, Mathematics usually hold no meaning to us.

There are several reasons why memorization is not as good as we think. For one, memorization does not equate understanding. You can memorize the whole formula but without understanding how it works, it will still not help you solve the problem.

Traditional math teachers are also trained to proceed immediately on abstract ideas and teach the how to’s of the subject. And most of the time, teachers usually talk in a totally different language that makes it more difficult for students to understand.

Most of the time, students also need to keep up with the teacher’s pace. Once the lesson plan is done and you don’t understand it, you are also done for. This can also lead to self-esteem issues for kids later in life.

S.A.M. Singapore Math aims to give children a fun and fantastic experience with Math.

Here, students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts. SAM Singapore Math calls this process as a holistic approach to learning.

At S.A.M. Singapore Math, there is no memorization.

They use different equations that kids learn to analyze and asses. Children also learn through guided questions so they could get to answer the problems on their own. By using this process, the kids get to learn by themselves and develop critical thinking skills and conceptual understanding.

Teachers under the S.A.M. Singapore Math program also undergo intensive training with S.A.M.

This helps them get to know how to adjust to every kids’ needs and adapt to the approaches that would help them learn Math better and faster.

Once they’re done, the trainers get certified and proceed to teach in different centers around the metro.

S.A.M. Singapore Math also offers students a classroom experience. Students and certified S.A.M. trainers engage in dialogue, probing questions, tools, and resources to make learning more memorable. Through visualization and a healthy dose of encouragement from trainers, children get to grasp the concepts easier.

This also helps increase the child’s self-confidence and level of independence. Once the child realizes what he can do by himself, he becomes more explorative and more open to learning.

But what really sets SAM Singapore Math apart is its CPA approach.

The program uses concrete items like props like toys and manipulatives, then move on to pictures that help explain the concepts. Once the child understands the images, he then moves on to the abstract part of the problem, which is represented by the numbers.

What Parents Are Saying About SAM Singapore Math

At the onset, Singapore Math sounds like it’s a pretty good deal. But if you’re a sigurista mom like me, you wouldn’t really take anything seriously unless you hear it directly from parents who’s experienced it first hand.

So I checked out their website, and here’s what Singapore Math parents had to say.

More than a subject, I think Mathematics is an important skill that children should be learning early on. And it’s awesome that SAM Singapore Math is removing the stigma about Math being boring or too difficult for children to do.

Is SAM Singapore Math worth the investment? Judging from the faces of these happy kids and the delighted feedback of the parents, I would say it’s a resounding yes.

So if you want to introduce your kids to a fun way to strengthen their foundation in Mathematics, schedule a meeting with the nearest SAM Singapore Math in Manila today.