How To Recognize and Overcome Math Anxiety | Practical Advice
Many people consider Math one of the most challenging subjects in school, with most kids feeling nervous and stressed when they stare at a math problem. This apprehension is due to a condition called math anxiety. Often, this condition carries into adulthood. Luckily, math anxiety has several solutions, and this article will uncover them.
What is Math Anxiety?
Have you ever been in a situation where you tell your child to do their math homework and countenance change? Math anxiety can make your child act out that way. Typically, Math anxiety is a feeling of tension, discomfort, and fear in math situations. This negative emotional reaction can affect a child’s overall understanding, appreciation, and performance in math. According to the University of Cambridge research, math anxiety can gravely impede students’ performance and grades in elementary and high school.
What Causes Math Anxiety?
Math is a foundational subject, so kids need to embrace its conceptual language. Understanding the concept and triggers of math anxiety will help you generate ways to make math a loveable subject for your kid. After careful research, it is apparent that some causes of math anxiety include:
● Shaky Math Foundation
A major cause of math anxiety arises when children do not have the basic knowledge of mathematical concepts. Experts believe that people start to exhibit symptoms of math anxiety when they struggle with basic math concepts and skills earlier in life. When their teachers begin introducing advanced math concepts, things could worsen, and they completely lose interest in their math classes.
Remember that math is one subject that builds upon itself. You learn the basics from an early class, and as you progress higher to more difficult math studies such as calculus, you have to expand the concepts you learned in your previous grades. Since Math is a part of your kid’s curriculum, they will have to do the compulsory class. They encounter more mathematical problems that they do not understand as they get into higher classes. Gradually, the resentment for Math may build until your child eventually develops Math anxiety.
● Pressure from time limits on tests
Some teachers impose unreasonable time limits on math tests, leading to a child developing math anxiety. The kid focuses more on how fast the time moves during the tests than solving the math problems. When kids get low grades from these unrealistic time limits, they may end up feeling discouraged and sad that they could not ace their tests. This bruise to their self-esteem further feeds their nervousness and fear of math.
● Fear of Failure
Most students develop math anxiety when teachers or parents continually scold them for wrong answers. Some parents do not understand that kids learn in various ways, so they should grow at their own pace. When you compare your child to other kids who excel in their math education just because your child failed, you only push them further towards math anxiety. Parents and teachers play important roles in a child’s math performance, so it is their job to help them in overcoming math anxiety.
5 Practical Advice On How To Help A Child Overcome Math Anxiety
Your kids need all the help they can need to pass through math anxiety unscathed. Note that math skills are essential for every child, so it is only ideal for parents and teachers to work collectively to make kids enjoy math and stop math anxiety. Here are five practical pieces of advice on how to overcome math anxiety in your child.
Encourage your kids
If you always tell the kids that they’re doing a good job, it will make them do even better. When they get an answer wrong, encourage them to try again since consistent practice births perfection. You can encourage your child to love math using various handy online tools on the internet. These tools can also help your kids hone their digital skills alongside their math skills. You do not even need to bother about parental controls when your kids learn online because there are some safe online tools you can use to achieve your aim of eliminating their math anxiety.
Encourage your kids to solve math problems themselves because they end up seeing math from a different perspective. Do not be too quick to help them out. Ask them questions like “What is the question asking? Is there another way to solve this problem? What do you think you should do?” Questions like these will challenge them to reason out various ways to solve the problem. You might even learn a thing or two from your kids along the way.
Play math games
Learning math for kids should be an exciting experience. Endeavor to expose them to games that will spike their interest in math and overrun their math anxiety. These games should teach kids various mathematical concepts and practice math skills in a non-threatening environment. Since they will be learning math in a non-threatening environment, they will learn better and faster at their own pace. They would also be able to recall previous lessons easily and faster.
Children have excess energy to jump and play around. So, why not make their playtime worthwhile by encouraging them to play games that can hone their math skills? When children see that math is not an agonizing but a fun learning experience, that will eliminate their math anxiety.
Make math fun
To help your child overcome math anxiety, find creative ways to make math for kids fun. Most kids find math boring; hence, the loss of interest in the various mathematical concepts. Books with riddles and puzzles are great options to make math fun for your kids. Get your kids math-related books; this will not only encourage reading but will also encourage their love for math.
Math-related shows and cartoons can be of great assistance in helping your child overcome their math anxiety. Kids like anything that entertains them. Games and educational cartoons present math in a simpler form. As they continually watch these shows, they will overcome their math anxiety.
Hire a tutor
In your quest to get rid of your child’s math anxiety, you will need help from reliable professionals. You can homeschool your child by contacting tutors who have experience with math for kids. These instructors will match your child’s pace and teach math problems in simpler forms.
Through innovative teaching methods, these tutors will groom your child into one capable of solving math problems without any feeling of anxiety. Since the tutors are professionals, they have special training in providing personal assistance to kids in a conducive environment. When the atmosphere is friendly, it eases the tension with math anxiety, and your child can be more relaxed. These tutors use math for kids online to build your child’s problem-solving skills and confidence level.
Make them aware of their math anxiety
The first crucial step in overcoming a phobia is acknowledging the problem. Make your kids aware of their math anxiety and that it is completely normal to feel that way. When your kid is aware of their anxiety and its consequences, they want to know how to get rid of it. Assure them that everything will be okay, and they just need to work towards overcoming their math anxiety.
Your kid needs to understand that making mistakes does not make them complete failures. Instead, it is an opportunity to learn and try again. This way, they will cultivate a growth mindset and strive to do better in anything they do.
Kids love gifts and rewards, so motivate them by rewarding them anytime they answer math questions correctly. Always remember that learning is a gradual process. Empathic actions like encouraging them to solve a math problem, using games to demystify math concepts and helping them accept their math anxiety will go a long way in helping them overcome it.
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