The Math Muscle - Why Practice is the Key to Mastering Math
As parents, we want to see our children do well in math 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 Math Muscle"!
- The math muscle gets stronger, the more math practice we do
- The stronger the math muscle, the faster it works
- The stronger it is, the harder the problems it can solve
- The stronger it is, the easier math becomes.
If your children need some motivational inspiration, show them the Math Muscle animation!
To find out why practice is so important for learning mathematics - take a look our animation exploring the cognitive science of learning math.
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 Math Muscle idea!
And from someone talented in both math 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 math performance, a little more practice is very likely all that is required.
I'm Ged McBreen ex-math teacher and co-founder of Komodo. Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost K-5 math skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math - without keeping them at the screen for long.