Take Mental Notes: Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Child’s Mental Mathematics

25 January 2021
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Maths is a subject most children are scared of. But over time, with such a drastic change in teaching habits and the advancement of technology in education, it now seems like a less intimidating subject. However, mental maths is a great exercise for your mind and to be able to calculate at the tip of your tongue is a fabulous confidence booster- and any of the best schools in India will advocate this. Besides, it also helps solve higher-level, tougher problems at an incredibly better speed. So here are simple tricks on how to improve mental maths.

No Calculators

Using a calculator will defy the entire purpose of this activity. If you really want your child to improve at maths or improve at mental maths, then there has to be a no device rule. Give them problems to solve and start slow. As children progress with their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, move to topics such as percentage calculation. And when you see your child progress, encourage them. Eventually, your goal is to get to a point where the child can be given a problem and a set time to solve it. This will help improve their ability to calculate faster. Needless to say, the ultimate goal is to have them not touch a calculator at all for daily maths unless the problem at hand is very tough.

Fastest Finger First

It’s only natural for a child to take a pen and paper and sit to solve the problem. However, when doing mental maths, just like you mustn’t have any devices, you must also steer clear from any books/papers/pens. You want them to improve their mental maths, hence, they need to switch to calculating on their fingers and eventually solely depend on their mind.

Keep Practising

It’s said that “practice makes a man perfect”, and it’s no lie. The best schools in India will always tell you the importance of this quote. Make sure you allocate daily time for mental maths exercises. This makes sure your child doesn’t lose practice, gets better every day and looks forward to solving more problems on a daily basis.
PS: Mathematics is a practical subject. So try to make it fun by giving real-life situations to your child that will help them relate to the problem better. Everything doesn’t have to be textbook-driven.

Encourage Mental Math Tricks

Like in magic, there are several tricks that can be performed in mathematics. And for your child to become a pro, you’ve got to spice things up sometimes. Just like in life, to be able to overcome tough situations you need to cross the easier hurdles first, similarly in maths, to be able to solve hardcore problems, you need to get your basics right. And to improve mental maths, it’s important you start easy and gradually proceed to more difficult problems. Here are some tricks that might help:

  • Do calculations on multiples of 10 and then subtract from them to get your desired number. For example, instead of doing 76 + 99, do 75 + 100. Rounded off numbers make it easier to calculate. Similarly, instead of 9 + 7, do 10 + 7 - 1. The answer both ways is 16, but the latter is an easier method.
  • Try to round off different numbers into the same number and then add/subtract to get your desired result. For example, 5 + 6 can be changed to 5 + 5 +1 = 11.
  • Try doing additions by breaking down numbers in their place values. For example, 224 + 250 + 15 + 11 = 500 can be easily made into 200 + 200 + 20 + 50+ 10 + 10 + 4 + 5 + 1 = 500. For beginners, this is much easier to compute.

There are many more tricks in the book. Start with baby steps and gradually proceed to making the challenges tougher and more fun. At Podar international School, teaching fun tricks, sharing tips and making subjects such as maths more approachable is daily practice.

If you’d like your child to be enrolled at one of the best schools in India, then click here to check out our swift and easy admission process.

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