Learning Math: How Has It Changed Over the Years?

January 13, 2022 / Learn About Osmo

Math isn’t for everyone. Right?

Wrong. But up until recently, most believed that they could fall into two categories: ‘math people’ and ‘non-math people’. This means that they felt that math was a skill you’re born with.

This isn’t the only misconception about math. There are several other things we believe about math that have changed over time.

1. Mathematicians Should Be Quick Math Thinkers

Children are often pressured to calculate quickly. The faster they calculate, the more skilled at math they’re said to be. In reality, speed has nothing to do with ability. 

Now we know that children can take their time to solve a math problem. If they’re rushed, they get anxious which in turn affects their progress.

Encourage your child to learn at their own pace. Even if they make mistakes along the way, it’s absolutely fine. Osmo’s Math Wizard series features self-paced math games that help your child see the fun in math.

2. Children Should First Be Taught Formulas

Decades ago, students were expected to memorize complex mathematical formulas, even when they didn’t understand their uses and applications.

Now, they’re allowed to first explore math concepts on their own using hands-on materials. Once they’ve built an understanding around those concepts, they start to visualize them in an abstract form, helping them to better retain information.

Replace those worksheets with hands-on activities and to see an improvement in your child’s math skills.

Osmo’s curriculum-inspired games in the Math Wizard series will help you see that math can be learned through hands-on, story-based exploration.

3. Math Should Be An Individual Learning Experience

Another myth about math was that it couldn’t be a social experience. Only if you learned by yourself  would you excel in the subject.

However, research has actually shown that collaboration can help students better succeed. When children learn together, they form a bond that helps them develop a sense of belongingness in math.

This is why Osmo’s Math Wizard series encourages collaboration through hands-on gameplay!