MAth Anxiety? NO problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most parents say the subject that gives kids the most trouble is math. Parents also recognize that in today's high-tech society, failure to be comfortable with math and numbers can limit a person's career potential.
Here's the good news: as a parent, there are plenty of simple things that you can do to help.
What is math anxiety?
"Math Anxiety" is a fear response to a math situation--not a failure of intelligence, but a failure of nerve. The problem is emotional, not intellectual. Tension, lack of confidence and previous failure can all result in the kind of anxiety that gets in the way of performance.
Where does math anxiety come from?
Usually, math anxiety is a result of both of the following:
- The style of the mathematics classroom.
Take time to explain to your child that while mathematics does depend on the correct answers, it is really a series of discoveries--not necessarily a fixed set of rules to be digested whole and without dispute. It's perfectly normal for some students to absorb it more slowly than others.
- Pressure to perform quickly in front of a group.
Most people, especially young people, do not do well when they are scared. Once the situation is corrected by means of careful teaching in a nurturing environment, the "I hate math" symptoms usually disappear. If you can't do anything to fix the environment, and often, parents can't, at least help your child understand that the fear doesn't have to do with math, it has to do with the pressure. (A+ Academic Services is a nurturing environment in which your child could gain self-confidence in math, which would then transfer to that larger classroom).
How can parents recognize math anxiety?
Signs of math anxiety are fairly east to recognize--the most obvious being poor math grades. Here are a few other signs to look for:
- Excuses such as "I don't like math," "I can't do math," "I don't like my math teacher," or "None of my friends like math."
- Negative feedback from math teachers.
- Fear of calculating math problems in front of the class.
- Procrastination or avoidance of math homework.
- Dropping math as soon as it becomes an elective.
Tips for math mental health
- Talk to your child to get at the feelings that are inhibiting progress.
- If your child has trouble expressing himself, ask questions using information in this article as a guideline.
- don't add to the pressure. Remember that self-confidence is crucial. Help your child to address math anxiety, not run away from it.
- Encourage your child to do math work aloud to explain the process. This will help you both identify where the problem areas are.
- Use pictures and symbols in place of numbers to make math fun; allow your child to draw pictures if it will help.
- Don't let your own math anxieties interfere with your child's progress.
- Consider outside resources, such as a learning center like A+ Academic Services, for extra help. Good supplemental education providers teach on a more personalized basis than traditional classrooms. They also focus on building self-esteem and 'learning how to learn.'
Willingness to learn
Having good mental math doesn't mean mastering all the mathematics problems in the world. It is simply the willingness to learn and being able to apply it in our everyday lives.
So if your child experiences math anxiety, help encourage his or her natural curiosity by helping him or her understand that it is probably the experience, not the subject, that is getting in the way.