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Tap into Your Child's Talents to Master Math (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 4, 2013

Math and Interpersonal Intelligence

This child is very good at perceiving the thoughts and feelings of those around him. He enjoys being with others.

  • Find a study partner or group. Allow him to talk and work together with friends. It can also be helpful to have him tutor someone who is struggling; explaining the concepts to someone else will sharpen his own understanding.
  • Tell stories about the people who create and use math. Talk about the cult of Pythagoras and how math equated to religion, or how you used the Pythagorean theorem to square the walls of the deck you built. 
  • Encourage him to see the teacher during office hours when he has a question. Teachers respond well to these friendly kids, and they’ll form a relationship that will help him enjoy the class more.

Math and Intrapersonal Intelligence

This student understands herself very well. She is good at reflection and examining her thought processes. She has a good handle on her own values, preferences, and strengths.

  • Talk to your child about how math is going for her. Ask her what she thinks her strengths are, and what areas she’d like help with.    
  • Model your own feelings as you attempt to explain a problem. “I‘m sort of discouraged because I don’t know how to proceed without a measurement for side AB. What am I missing?”
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings. “I can feel your frustration about this problem. Why don’t you take a break and try it later. If you’re really stuck I can help you or you can try calling Kristi.” Or “That was a tough problem – you must feel proud that you figured it out.”

The best math curriculum appeals to all seven intelligences, and good teachers look for ways to include all learners. But with rising pressure to cover an ever-increasing number of topics for standardized tests, teachers are forced to save time by relying more heavily on traditional lecture. Parents can make a difference at home by using techniques that appeal to their child’s particular strengths.

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