5 Simple Tests To Find Out If Your Child Is Good At Mathematics
Want to know whether your child has good mathematical skills? These tests will help you.
By Parama Gupta
Mathematics is a subject that is often dreaded by many students. In fact, it is even considered to be boring, especially at the preschool and primary school level. However, there are a few students in every class who enjoy the subject and look forward to studying it. These students never worry about maths exams and excel in every test.
Being good at maths is not a genetic inheritance but a cultivated skill. While some have a natural aptitude for maths, others master it through practice. If you want your child to excel in maths, then you will have to ensure that he develops a positive attitude toward the subject. Also, you need to first assess at what level his mathematical skills are. A few simple tests listed here will reveal where your child stands.1. The counting test
This test analyses a child’s ability to count forward and backward and tells you if she is capable of performing mental maths with ease. The result of this test will reveal if she has a natural aptitude for maths. Ask your child to count upto as many numbers as she can. When she stops at a number, ask her to count backward from there. Pick up a random number within her counting range and ask her to count forward from that number again. If your child performs this exercise with ease, then it is indicative of good mathematical skills.
2. Picture cards test
This test analyses your child’s ability to put sequences in order. Make six flash cards with the following images drawn on them: a child brushing his teeth, a child getting ready for school, a child in the classroom, a child coming back from school, a child playing with friends at the park and a child going to bed. You can also download online images and stick them on to cards. Place the cards in jumbled order in front of your child and ask him to put them in the sequence of events as they happen throughout the day. If he gets it right, then chances are that he will be good at mathematics. (You can choose any images for this activity; just ensure they are in a sequence.)
3. Measurement test
Collect several items of different weights such as feather, stone, pen, eraser, box and coin. Create two labels - heavy and light - and stick them on two cartons. Ask your child to place the items as per their weight in the two labelled cartons. If your child accurately places the heavier items in the ‘heavy’ box and the lighter ones in the box labelled ‘light', then she has a good sense of measurement. You can try the same activity with different kinds of labels such as ‘long’ and ‘short', ‘thin’ and ‘thick' and ‘fast’ and ‘slow'. You can even create picture cards of the objects and use them instead of the actual objects.
4. Test for geometric abilities
From a cardboard, cut out several different-sized pieces of similar shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, squares and hexagons. Then, cut the pieces into two or more parts. For example, you can cut a circle into two halves or into a quarter and three-quarter, a square into half or unequal proportions. Mix up all the cut-outs and hand them to your child. Ask your child to put the pieces together correctly. If he completes this task successfully, and in a short time, then chances are that he may excel in geometry in the future.
5. The multiplication and division test
Buy some toffee or chocolate and hand them to your child. Then, ask her to distribute them equally among her family members. For example, if there are four members in the family, you can get 16 bars of chocolate, and then see if your child can distribute them equally. If she manages to get the numbers correct without any confusion or hesitation, then she is likely to be good at multiplication and division. Try this activity with different items and higher multiples of different numbers.
How to make maths interesting
If your child has mathematical abilities, here are a few tips to make the subject exciting for her:
- Make your child practise simple mathematical calculations every day. However, do not overburden her with too many mundane exercises.
- Turn the maths exercises into interesting games such as hopscotch, housie, Sudoku, etc.
- Engage in maths-based craft work such as origami, geometric collages, and so on.
- Integrate mathematical calculations in day-to-day activities such as checking bills at shopping counters.
- Play a variety of board games and turn them into maths games, involving your child in counting forward and backward.
- Create flash cards of simple mathematical equations and play with your child regularly.
Helping your child improve his mathematical skills may take some time. But by doing interesting maths-based activities with your child, you can help him fall in love with numbers and have a great time studying the subject.
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