What is Math Anxiety and Why Is It Contagious?
Many children struggle with early math concepts. This can produce feelings of stress which can then lead to anxiety. Together these can produce both biological and psychological symptoms in the form of an upset stomach, frequent headaches, sweating, memory impairments, tension, and concentration issues. When past negative instances with math and parental anxiety towards math combine, children tend to develop anxiety towards the subject due to which their learning suffers significantly over the year. When children experience math anxiety, their ability to understand and master concepts may be unintentionally delayed. When parents are aware of their own math anxiety and make a conscious effort to provide their child frequent help with homework and test preparation, they can help their child stay relaxed and positive towards math and make a profound impact on their learning.
5 Things Parents Can Do to Help Eliminate Math Anxiety
Let Your Child Perfect the Fundamentals with Practice
Help your child relearn the basics and reinforce the concepts so they develop a solid foundation and build their knowledge base for sustainable success. When children are prepared with daily practice and repetition, they tend to fare much better. Math is like a foreign language which needs to be practiced as much as possible before it can be mastered.
Devise a Solid Test Taking Strategy
Most kids experience math stress because they sit for a test with no strategy so when they come across a question they don’t know, they have no idea what needs to be done next. Devise a personalized test taking strategy for your children and teach them to not worry in such a situation and move on the next question. Tell them they don’t need to worry and can always come at it later. This practice will keep them from feeling lost in an exam and ensure they don’t struggle with the remaining questions and attempt them with confidence.
Change their Mindset Towards Math with a Psychological Approach
Giving a student experiencing math stress more academic work can actually backfire. An easy way to change your child’s mindset toward math is a psychological intervention that aims to combat the negative associations of failure and reframes this aversion as an opportunity for improvement. Don’t let your child get caught up in a vicious circle where poor performance leads to anxiety and anxiety adversely affects academic performance. Let your child discuss or write about their math anxiety before a test and they will surely do better once they understand that feeling anxious prior to a test is completely normal.
Tie Mathematical Concepts to Real World Applications
The overall anxiety and discomfort associated with math can be greatly reduced when parents try tying math concepts to real life situations. Showing your child the practical use of math in daily life can help your child develop these underlying skills. Start at your neighborhood grocery store by asking your child to calculate prices per unit or calculating the percentage discounts and estimating the final price. You can also ask your child to estimate the total amount and increase the level of difficulty by incorporating discount coupons or sale price. From cooking and accounting to traveling and managing time, math can be brought into the play everywhere. If you can’t think of the applications yourself, you can always rely on the internet for some amazing resources, ideas, and tips.
Have You Heard About Math-U-See’s AIM Programs?
The Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) programs provide a solution for students who are struggling with math because of gaps in their foundational math skills set. Students who experience these gaps in understanding can encountering difficulty processing complex mathematical concepts as their mental energy is consumed by processing fundamental skills. The AIM programs use proven Math-U-See strategies and distinctive manipulatives in combination with an accelerated approach to help students successfully master math concepts.
Try a Different Approach
Children learn differently – while some are visual learners, others are kinaesthetic. To help your child learn difficult math concepts, you can make use of modern technology. You don’t need to replace the traditional teaching approach, but supplemental education definitely helps. Consider the convenience and flexibility of online math tutoring where expert teachers tailor their teaching methods to suit your child’s unique learning needs. Online tutoring not only ensures personalized attention but also offers expert guidance while making math fun, helping your child overcome math anxiety and excel academically.
Making education simple and easy to comprehend is Dana Jandhyala’s forte. She’s had a long career as an educator where she has taught in several different schools and institutes in multiple countries. Today, she helps students with personalized online tutorials by MySchoolPage that help make concepts easy to understand, making learning fast and fun. She writes to help students study better, and to coach parents so they can facilitate the success of their children.