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How to Learn Math as an Adult: A Guide to Starting from Scratch

02 02 2024

02 02 2024

How to Learn Math as an Adult

A Guide to Starting from Scratch

Teaching yourself mathematics from the beginning can be quite challenging. But it’s something that can be accomplished by anyone who’s ready to put in the effort and stay committed. There’s a misconception that having a more humanities-focused mindset might hinder a child’s ability to learn math. However, practical experience demonstrates that, when approached correctly, with access to good learning materials, and a determination to persist through the initial weeks, anyone can become proficient in this subject.

In this article, we’ll delve into the process of self-learning mathematics and offer some valuable advice that applies to both adult learners and children.

The Importance of Mathematics in Everyday Life

Mathematics is a Universal Tool

Learning mathematics not only helps you excel in other subjects but also connects you to various fields such as physics, chemistry, and geography. Even in disciplines like journalism, sociology, and linguistics, mathematical principles find practical applications. Proficiency in logic, combinatorics, and analysis – the fundamental branches of mathematics – opens up doors to a diverse range of careers in the humanities.

Boosting Creativity

Research by Barbara Helmreich at Notre Dame College in Baltimore has unveiled an intriguing link between music and mathematics. It appears that individuals who played musical instruments during their childhood tend to perform better at mathematics. This correlation is attributed to the fact that melodic patterns and the relationships between musical notes are founded on fundamental mathematical principles.

Enhancing Psychological Well-being

Researchers at Duke University in the USA have uncovered an unexpected benefit of mathematics – its positive impact on mental well-being. Solving mathematical problems contributes to strengthening one’s psychological health, helping individuals cope with negative emotions and stress.

Is Learning Mathematics a Challenge?

Mathematics often seems more daunting than it truly is, instilling fear in many students. This apprehension often stems from misconceptions that suggest mathematics is reserved for the gifted. Let’s dispel some of these myths that hinder the process of learning mathematics from scratch.

It’s an Unapproachable Science

Research indicates that we should perceive our intelligence as a continuously evolving entity. Those who adopt this mindset tend to excel in mathematics. This approach enables them to not shy away from mistakes, but instead see them as valuable learning experiences. When students stop fearing problems and formulas, they realize that mathematics isn’t as intimidating as it may appear.

You Have to Memorize Countless “Formulas”

This claim is partially true, but the problem lies not in mathematics itself, but in the educational system that reduces mathematics to mere memorization. In reality, there aren’t an overwhelming number of mathematical formulas, and they are all logically interconnected and reliant on one another. During the learning process, it’s more crucial to nurture creativity. Mathematics then transforms into a mental game, becoming more straightforward and engaging.

Mathematics is Only for a Select Few

Scientific studies debunked this notion as early as the mid-20th century. Categorizing children into “humanities” or “mathematics” is a significant misconception. There’s no reason to believe that someone possesses an innate talent for any school-level subject.

Nevertheless, the concept of “neuroplasticity” has been repeatedly validated. It refers to the brain’s capacity to adapt under the influence of new experiences. Neuroplasticity assists us in learning foreign languages, mastering musical instruments, and even forming new connections. Think of it as similar to sports: regular practice consistently yields results. Observing athletes can provide valuable guidance on how to approach learning mathematics.

How to Make Mathematics Easier to Understand?

To effectively learn mathematics from scratch, it’s crucial to break away from traditional memorization methods and dispel common misconceptions. The most efficient way to grasp mathematics quickly is to unravel its core principles. In this section, we will explore strategies for comprehending mathematics more easily.

Follow Your Interests

Mathematics encompasses seven major branches: fundamentals, arithmetic, algebra, analysis, combinatorics, geometry, topology, and applied mathematics. Each of these branches contains topics that could capture your interest. For instance, if you’re keen on artificial intelligence, you can begin with linear algebra. If you enjoy playing poker, delve into probability theory.

It’s important to note that this approach is better suited for adult learners. When teaching mathematics to children, it’s advisable to start with the basics and gradually progress to more complex concepts.

Engage with Games

Gamification is a highly effective method for facilitating learning. Here are some mobile games that can assist you in mastering mathematics quickly:

  • Quick Brain: A mobile game that presents elementary questions, including mathematical ones, encouraging children to understand mathematics and enhance their logical thinking.
    Available on Android and iOS.
  • Math Games: Similar to the previous game but with more challenging tasks and a variety of game formats.
    Available on Android.
  • Math | Riddles and Puzzles: A collection of “olympiad-style” tasks, puzzles, and brain teasers that not only require mathematical knowledge but also demand logical thinking to solve. Suitable for both children and adults.
    Available on Android and iOS.

Tackle Fascinating Problems

When studying any subject, it’s essential to make the learning process engaging. This approach enables you to delve deep into the subject matter and prevents losing interest after a few weeks. If you find a particular topic uninspiring, switch to another one that captivates your interest. Seek out problems and tasks that you enjoy solving. Brilliant.org is a website that offers interactive and well-visualized math problems across various mathematical areas, making online math learning a more exciting endeavor.

How to Learn Mathematics from Scratch Quickly?

Get Help from a Tutor

Math tutors are familiar with textbooks and can choose the most suitable materials. Additionally, for children who may struggle with self-study due to a lack of motivation, a skilled educator can identify the right approach and foster a passion for mathematics.

Incorporate Mathematics into Your Daily Life

Mathematics is present in various aspects of our lives. Take notice of everyday activities where your mathematical knowledge can be useful. One of the most valuable ways to make mathematics a part of your life is by enhancing your financial literacy. Record all your expenses and organize them into categories such as “groceries”, “entertainment”, and “transportation”.

Begin Doing Mental Math

An effective way to rapidly grasp mathematics is by engaging in mental calculations. This practice not only enhances memory but also improves concentration and attention span. Within the realm of mathematics, numerous “tricks” exist that simplify calculations without relying on a calculator. By mastering as many of these techniques as possible, you’ll discover that performing mental calculations becomes more effortless, all while giving your brain a workout.

If one of the numbers in a multiplication problem can be broken down into factors, tackle the operations step by step.

225 × 6 = 225 × 2 × 3 = 450 × 3

When multiplying by 5 or 25, consider dividing the number by 2 or 4, and then append one or two zeros to the result.

74 × 5 = 37 × 10
72 × 25 = 18 × 100

To multiply any two-digit number by 11, simply write the sum of the digits in between them. Here’s an example using the number 32:

32 × 11 = 3… 3+2 …2 = 352.

When calculating a percentage of a whole number, divide both figures by 10 and then multiply. For instance, if you need to determine 40% of 300:

(40×300) ÷ 10 = 4×3 = 120

If you wish to teach your child how to perform mental calculations, you can start at a young age. In our article, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to initiate the teaching process, methods for teaching mental math, and effective approaches that can accelerate your child’s ability to calculate.

Develop a Lesson Plan

Creating a lesson plan is crucial when it comes to successfully learning mathematics from scratch. Regular lessons are a key component of this process, and they help your brain establish a routine. Material that you consistently engage with tends to be retained better in your memory. By dedicating some time to studying mathematics every day, your brain perceives it as essential information, leading to more effective learning.

Allocate Time

It’s important to consider how much time you’re willing to invest in your lessons each week. We recommend setting aside at least two to three lessons per week to ensure that your study sessions remain effective.

Choose a Learning Method

Explore different learning methods, such as watching video lectures, getting online math tutoring, self-study using textbooks, working on practical exercises, and self-assessment. Choose the method that interests you the most, or create a plan that incorporates a mix of these approaches to keep your learning engaging.

Put Your Plan on Paper

Document your lesson plan either in a physical notebook or by using online planning tools like Crello, Worksection, Google Calendar, GTasks, or others. These platforms make it easy to track your progress and stay organized.

Stay Committed to Your Plan

While studying, you might come across intriguing information that distracts you. Always remind yourself of your initial learning goals. If the new information aligns with those goals, feel free to explore it. If not, make a note of what caught your interest and continue with your planned lessons.

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How to Learn Math as an Adult: A Guide to Starting from Scratch

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Teaching yourself mathematics from the beginning can be quite challenging. But it’s something that can be accomplished by anyone who’s ready to put in the effort and stay committed. There’s a misconception that having a more humanities-focused mindset might hinder a child’s ability to learn math. However, practical experience demonstrates that, when approached correctly, with access to good learning materials, and a determination to persist through the initial weeks, anyone can become proficient in this subject.

In this article, we’ll delve into the process of self-learning mathematics and offer some valuable advice that applies to both adult learners and children.

The Importance of Mathematics in Everyday Life

Mathematics is a Universal Tool

Learning mathematics not only helps you excel in other subjects but also connects you to various fields such as physics, chemistry, and geography. Even in disciplines like journalism, sociology, and linguistics, mathematical principles find practical applications. Proficiency in logic, combinatorics, and analysis – the fundamental branches of mathematics – opens up doors to a diverse range of careers in the humanities.

Boosting Creativity

Research by Barbara Helmreich at Notre Dame College in Baltimore has unveiled an intriguing link between music and mathematics. It appears that individuals who played musical instruments during their childhood tend to perform better at mathematics. This correlation is attributed to the fact that melodic patterns and the relationships between musical notes are founded on fundamental mathematical principles.

Enhancing Psychological Well-being

Researchers at Duke University in the USA have uncovered an unexpected benefit of mathematics – its positive impact on mental well-being. Solving mathematical problems contributes to strengthening one’s psychological health, helping individuals cope with negative emotions and stress.

Is Learning Mathematics a Challenge?

Mathematics often seems more daunting than it truly is, instilling fear in many students. This apprehension often stems from misconceptions that suggest mathematics is reserved for the gifted. Let’s dispel some of these myths that hinder the process of learning mathematics from scratch.

It’s an Unapproachable Science

Research indicates that we should perceive our intelligence as a continuously evolving entity. Those who adopt this mindset tend to excel in mathematics. This approach enables them to not shy away from mistakes, but instead see them as valuable learning experiences. When students stop fearing problems and formulas, they realize that mathematics isn’t as intimidating as it may appear.

You Have to Memorize Countless “Formulas”

This claim is partially true, but the problem lies not in mathematics itself, but in the educational system that reduces mathematics to mere memorization. In reality, there aren’t an overwhelming number of mathematical formulas, and they are all logically interconnected and reliant on one another. During the learning process, it’s more crucial to nurture creativity. Mathematics then transforms into a mental game, becoming more straightforward and engaging.

Mathematics is Only for a Select Few

Scientific studies debunked this notion as early as the mid-20th century. Categorizing children into “humanities” or “mathematics” is a significant misconception. There’s no reason to believe that someone possesses an innate talent for any school-level subject.

Nevertheless, the concept of “neuroplasticity” has been repeatedly validated. It refers to the brain’s capacity to adapt under the influence of new experiences. Neuroplasticity assists us in learning foreign languages, mastering musical instruments, and even forming new connections. Think of it as similar to sports: regular practice consistently yields results. Observing athletes can provide valuable guidance on how to approach learning mathematics.

How to Make Mathematics Easier to Understand?

To effectively learn mathematics from scratch, it’s crucial to break away from traditional memorization methods and dispel common misconceptions. The most efficient way to grasp mathematics quickly is to unravel its core principles. In this section, we will explore strategies for comprehending mathematics more easily.

Follow Your Interests

Mathematics encompasses seven major branches: fundamentals, arithmetic, algebra, analysis, combinatorics, geometry, topology, and applied mathematics. Each of these branches contains topics that could capture your interest. For instance, if you’re keen on artificial intelligence, you can begin with linear algebra. If you enjoy playing poker, delve into probability theory.

It’s important to note that this approach is better suited for adult learners. When teaching mathematics to children, it’s advisable to start with the basics and gradually progress to more complex concepts.

Engage with Games

Gamification is a highly effective method for facilitating learning. Here are some mobile games that can assist you in mastering mathematics quickly:

  • Quick Brain: A mobile game that presents elementary questions, including mathematical ones, encouraging children to understand mathematics and enhance their logical thinking.
    Available on Android and iOS.
  • Math Games: Similar to the previous game but with more challenging tasks and a variety of game formats.
    Available on Android.
  • Math | Riddles and Puzzles: A collection of “olympiad-style” tasks, puzzles, and brain teasers that not only require mathematical knowledge but also demand logical thinking to solve. Suitable for both children and adults.
    Available on Android and iOS.

Tackle Fascinating Problems

When studying any subject, it’s essential to make the learning process engaging. This approach enables you to delve deep into the subject matter and prevents losing interest after a few weeks. If you find a particular topic uninspiring, switch to another one that captivates your interest. Seek out problems and tasks that you enjoy solving. Brilliant.org is a website that offers interactive and well-visualized math problems across various mathematical areas, making online math learning a more exciting endeavor.

How to Learn Mathematics from Scratch Quickly?

Get Help from a Tutor

Math tutors are familiar with textbooks and can choose the most suitable materials. Additionally, for children who may struggle with self-study due to a lack of motivation, a skilled educator can identify the right approach and foster a passion for mathematics.

Incorporate Mathematics into Your Daily Life

Mathematics is present in various aspects of our lives. Take notice of everyday activities where your mathematical knowledge can be useful. One of the most valuable ways to make mathematics a part of your life is by enhancing your financial literacy. Record all your expenses and organize them into categories such as “groceries”, “entertainment”, and “transportation”.

Begin Doing Mental Math

An effective way to rapidly grasp mathematics is by engaging in mental calculations. This practice not only enhances memory but also improves concentration and attention span. Within the realm of mathematics, numerous “tricks” exist that simplify calculations without relying on a calculator. By mastering as many of these techniques as possible, you’ll discover that performing mental calculations becomes more effortless, all while giving your brain a workout.

If one of the numbers in a multiplication problem can be broken down into factors, tackle the operations step by step.

225 × 6 = 225 × 2 × 3 = 450 × 3

When multiplying by 5 or 25, consider dividing the number by 2 or 4, and then append one or two zeros to the result.

74 × 5 = 37 × 10
72 × 25 = 18 × 100

To multiply any two-digit number by 11, simply write the sum of the digits in between them. Here’s an example using the number 32:

32 × 11 = 3… 3+2 …2 = 352.

When calculating a percentage of a whole number, divide both figures by 10 and then multiply. For instance, if you need to determine 40% of 300:

(40×300) ÷ 10 = 4×3 = 120

If you wish to teach your child how to perform mental calculations, you can start at a young age. In our article, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to initiate the teaching process, methods for teaching mental math, and effective approaches that can accelerate your child’s ability to calculate.

Develop a Lesson Plan

Creating a lesson plan is crucial when it comes to successfully learning mathematics from scratch. Regular lessons are a key component of this process, and they help your brain establish a routine. Material that you consistently engage with tends to be retained better in your memory. By dedicating some time to studying mathematics every day, your brain perceives it as essential information, leading to more effective learning.

Allocate Time

It’s important to consider how much time you’re willing to invest in your lessons each week. We recommend setting aside at least two to three lessons per week to ensure that your study sessions remain effective.

Choose a Learning Method

Explore different learning methods, such as watching video lectures, getting online math tutoring, self-study using textbooks, working on practical exercises, and self-assessment. Choose the method that interests you the most, or create a plan that incorporates a mix of these approaches to keep your learning engaging.

Put Your Plan on Paper

Document your lesson plan either in a physical notebook or by using online planning tools like Crello, Worksection, Google Calendar, GTasks, or others. These platforms make it easy to track your progress and stay organized.

Stay Committed to Your Plan

While studying, you might come across intriguing information that distracts you. Always remind yourself of your initial learning goals. If the new information aligns with those goals, feel free to explore it. If not, make a note of what caught your interest and continue with your planned lessons.

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