If your child is a right-brain dominant, visual learner, the odds are they struggle in math. For the homeschool parent, it can be an ongoing challenge to find math curriculum that is a good fit for a student that struggles with learning the concepts of mathematics. Let’s face it, most math curriculum is geared for the left-brain learner. Unfortunately, this leaves a large segment of students grappling to understand a “language” that is foreign to the way they interpret their world. Many children with dyslexia and dyscalculia also experience these same challenges, often resulting in the student falling behind. But do not despair, these “math roadblocks” can often be remedied by presenting the material in a whole different way…the right-brain way!
Times Tables for the Visual Learner
Many right-brain dominant learners struggle with mastering their times tables. Replacing repetitive memorization with a mnemonic memory tool has a proven high success rate for children that could otherwise not make those times tables stick.
Real-Life Applicable Math
One of the most effective ways to help the visual learner understand the concepts of math is to look for opportunities to apply it to everyday life. Real-world application can be taught through sports, shopping, allowance, and travel. Demonstrating math in a way that is relevant to your child’s world, increases the retention of math concepts by leaps and bound.
Sport math is a fun way to learn a variety of math concepts. You can incorporate learning about distance, angles and averages. How about taking your math lesson for the day to the bowling alley and using an old fashioned score sheet.
Shopping Trip Math
Discount coupon shopping is probably one of the best ways to not only teach basic addition and subtraction skills, but also give children an awareness of budgeting and saving money. You can create a virtual shopping game by utilizing the pricing and coupons on the weekly store sale ads. Give each child a budget of $100 and see who can choose the most items in the ads without going over the limit.
Allowance and Chore Math
There’s nothing stronger in real life math application than that of the almighty dollar! One great way to teach children how to track their spending is to use a blank check register that you can get at your local bank. As your child spends, have them subtract (or add in the case of making money) from the balance.
When preparing for your next family vacation, try involving your children in the planning process. They can compute miles traveled, compare prices, budget for food and entertainment, and price lodging.
These activities are just a few examples of how parents can “speak math” to their right-brain dominant child, in a way that they can understand.