Math and science are two very important subjects, not just in school but also in our lives. We are surrounded by math and science in our everyday lives making them essential parts of our existence. Whether calculating the monthly expenses or understanding healthy food habits, math and science surround us in so many ways that we take them for granted.
With changing times, arts have become an important subject to develop necessary life skills. But math and science are not far behind. Trying to calculate the monthly EMI on that home loan? That is math. Looking at the calorie content of your favourite dark chocolate? That is science and math. Cooking for your family with that perfect amount of salt and the irrestible crispiness of the chicken skin? Well, that’s science. Adults need to understand that math and science are not tough subjects. In fact, all they need is common sense. Only then can they make it easy for their children.
The first rule of making children understand the importance of math and science is never to tell them how bad you were at school or how you hated the subject. Children tend to mirror their parents. If they hear you speaking about your bad grades often enough, they will consider it alright to not work hard for the subjects. Genetic coding is no excuse for not trying hard. But this should not mean that they feel the pressure to perform on your behalf as well.
Make the importance of the subjects clear to them so that they find it useful and interesting. Make them active participants in everyday activities that involve math and science. Let them match the number of items on the shopping list to the number of items in the bag. Or let them add the total of the bill to make sure there are no mistakes.
Encourage your child to play with their ice cream or chocolate bar so that they can see solid change to liquid. Or let them drop the aspirin into the glass of water so that they can witness it dissolve. Children learn best from experience so give them the experience that they will enjoy.
Often children shy way from trying hard because of the popular stereotypes. Math and science are only for intelligent students. Football jocks can’t be good with numbers. Engineering and medical are best suited for boys. Explain to them that everyone is intelligent. Grades don’t prove intelligence, actual implementation does. Are they able to apply the basic knowledge in their everyday life? Then they are as good in the subjects as the students who gets straight As.
A football jock is the best person to do a mental calculation of the speed of wind, the number of players defending the goal post and the required speed for the ball to take a certain trajectory. If he’s not good at math then no one is. Names like Marie Curie may be few and far between but their contribution is as significant as that as Einstein’s. That is why, engineering and medical are suited to any child who takes interest in the subjects.
End of the day, we need to treat everything as a learning experience and concentrate on the everyday implementation of math and science in our lives. It is only then that we can encourage our children to look beyond the grades and work hard to grasp the basics.