Mathmatics is introduced to us at the kindergarten level where we start with understanding about numbers and quantity. As we grow, we learn operations like addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. The complexity keeps growing as we grow, but the experience of every student is unique. For some, it can be a fun and challenging task while for others it can cause math anxiety – fear and stress about math.
The consequences of math anxiety can be severe. The student may feel anxious about not getting the right answers or not able to understand what is taught. All of which can worsen to frustration and sadness about not being good at math. Ultimately, the student develops a dislike for the subject, making it even harder to develop his/her math skills.
Possible Reasons for Math Anxiety
The primary reason is underdeveloped early math skills. The student was unable to understand the early concepts, but later on, is subjected to additional concepts. This overwhelms the student and makes it harder for them to move ahead.
We all know how a strong foundation is necessary to build a tall and strong building. Similarly, strong fundamentals in mathematics ensure quick mastery in advanced math skills. Without the concepts being clear, children struggle to find the correct answer to the problems.
Another reason could be peer pressure. Looking at their peers, the child may develop a belief that they are not naturally good at math like other students. As a result, the student develops self-doubt and stops trying hard enough to excel in the subject.
Handling the Problem of Math Anxiety
Parents play the most important role in the education of their child, here are some tips to reduce math anxiety in your child.
- Find Alternate Methods to Study: Interactive games, quizzes, puzzles and videos can help develop fundamental math skills at the elementary level. Also, try to play games that require math skills such as Monopoly or Double Shutter.
- Obtain help early: Turning in assignments and homework on time is not a good indicator of whether the child has understood the concept or not. That’s why it is recommended that the parents go through the material with their child and help them at places they struggle at.
- Everyone can be good at it: You have to ditch the idea that some people are just naturally weak at maths. A common notion is that boys are better at math than girls. Researchers have suggested that no such gap exists in the current time.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! – there is only one way to master any subject, practice! We suggest that you should practice with your child and look where they can improve. You will also get a better idea of how your child is doing and it will provide them support. You should also reward your child fairly for successful completion.
- Tell them it’s okay to make mistakes: One of the best life lessons you can teach your child is that mistakes are an integral part of learning. The fear of committing a mistake will refrain them from making the most out of a lot of opportunities. They should not fear to make mistakes.
Thanks for reading!