Math anxiety can be hard to distinguish. When your student is suffering, it’s easy to overlook the signs and label it as laziness or an unwillingness to learn. We can reduce this stress by building math confidence in your student.
What Does Stress Look Like?
• Your student cries when it’s time for math
• Your student focuses on the amount of homework or classwork they have to complete
• Your student is worried that their family or peers will look down on them if they answer a problem incorrectly
• Your student knew how to solve the problem yesterday but isn’t able to today
We recognize there is an emotional component to math. Math can be stressful. We know that when students are stressed, they stop learning. Instead, they focus on the worse case scenarios: What if my friends think I’m stupid? Will my mom be mad at me if I get the answer wrong? When we’re stressed, we don’t always think rationally.
Even as a parent, you feel you can’t do it anymore. But, please believe us when we say you really are the BEST teacher for your student. No one will want to see your student succeed like you. No one knows your child like you. No one will be there for your child like you. No one will be able to notice the signs of stress like you.
What You Can Do When Your Student is Stressed
• Take a break. Come back to math in an hour or maybe even the next day. When your student is stressed, the learning will stop.
• Limit the number of math problems your student works on in a day. A good way to measure how much time your student can stay focused is by taking their age and adding 2-3 minutes to that number. For example, if your student is 7-years old, their time of focus will be around 9-10 minutes. Take advantage of the time of focus your student has.
• Encourage your student. Encouraging your student helps support a growth mindset and eases stress. Try saying things like great job! or That’s a tough one, but we’ll keep working on it.
Related blog post: 6 Practical Ways to Reduce Math Stress
How Math-U-See Can Help
The following techniques are used in Math-U-See to build confidence in students and lay a strong foundation for understanding math facts. When we build a strong foundation, we are building confidence in our learners. Building math confidence will eliminate your child’s stress around learning math.
Math-U-See uses a consistent set of manipulatives from kindergarten to Algebra 1, leading students from concrete to abstract understanding.
2) Mastery Focus
Students will progress through materials at their own pace, practicing concepts until they demonstrate mastery of skills.
Understanding comes from learning concepts first, facts and formulas next, and then applications to everyday situations. With Math-U-See, we teach how to solve, why to solve in this manner, and when to apply the concept.
4) Fundamental Skills
Math-U-See is a sequential curriculum that uses Greek titles to indicate skill level, building concept upon concept on a solid foundation.
5) Parental Engagement
• An involved parent or instructor is a very important part of the student’s education and is in Math-U-See’s learning process.
• Children are encouraged to explore and learn side-by-side with an engaged parent.
• The parent’s role may be the primary instructor or as a supplemental instructor.
We Are Here to Help
If you have questions about teaching math, we are here to help!