The maths muscle - practice is the key to mastering maths
As parents we want to see our children do well in maths because we know how important this is to future study options, careers and life in general. However this message doesn't always translate to younger learners - so we've borrowed a simple idea from the world of sport and created "The Maths Muscle"!
- The maths muscle gets stronger, the more maths practice we do;
- The stronger the maths muscle, the faster it works;
- The stronger it is, the harder the problems it can solve;
- The stronger it is, the easier maths becomes.
If your children need some motivational inspiration, show them the Maths Muscle animation!
To find out why practice is so important for learning mathematics - take a look our animation exploring the cognitive science of learning maths.
Talent versus hard work?
Talented mathematicians are often portrayed as specially gifted individuals who gained their talent without much effort. Let's hear some of their views on the value of practice:
"Doing mathematics is a bit like playing sport or learning a musical instrument. You can’t do it well immediately – it requires practice. Think of having a mathematical muscle in your mind that with practice gradually gets stronger."Marcus de Sautoy in the Guardian
. . thanks Marcus for the Maths Muscle idea!
And from someone talented in both maths and music:
“I’m not a natural mathematician but few people are...you have to practice"Professor Brian Cox Financial Times interview
I think the great man is being modest here:
“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work..."Albert Einstein
So really there is no reason to get despondent or down-hearted about maths performance, a little more practice is very likely all that is required.
I'm Ged McBreen ex-maths teacher and co-founder of Komodo. Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week) that fits into the busy routine. Komodo users develop fluency and confidence in maths - without keeping them at the screen for long.