(Image Credit : pixabay.com)
Math Anxiety is the big bad wolf for any parent who needs to help their child understand that math is important. It’s scarier when you also have math anxiety, but you need to make sure your child doesn’t go down a similar path. In helping children get through the challenges of learning, we may use the wrong methods and worsen the situation. We may think that constant monitoring and coaxing is enough, but it is quite counter-productive. Here, we go into why parents need to take it easy when it comes to math coaching. We’ll also touch on how using math anxiety as a performance booster can improve skills.
Glass Empty or Full?
The classic argument related to pessimism and optimism, do you view the glass as half empty or half full? Education experts are speaking up about math anxiety and how it can boost performance. Still, it’s not that cut and dry, and there has to be significant work done to ensure one gets to a stage where anxiety becomes fuel to boost performance.
First, encourage a keen sense of math motivation, where the learner understands and values the importance of math. These students will fare better when math anxiety rears its ugly head. Research shows that children with low confidence and high anxiety ended up with poor scores. Conversely, the confident ones did well, as these children used anxiety to increase their performance.
Interfering of Inspiring?
It’s natural to try and stop the problem, but the way parents go about it important. Nagging, fussing and forcing will not do the trick, but there is a way to overcome this issue. In fact, helping your kids with their homework can be difficult if you have math anxiety. Kids of “math-anxious parents” tend to fare poorly as a result of their parent’s efforts to help.
There is mounting evidence pointing to the fact that math anxiety is becoming an epidemic, not just affecting grades but the mindsets of our young ones. Right now, parents and teachers have to be the first ones to change the mindsets from negatives into positives. Mistakes in math are all part and parcel of the learning process, and this is something children need to understand as well.
Getting Kids Psyched for Math
We see here that performance in math is linked to how we perceive and react to certain things, and is quite psychological in nature. In fact, this does not only apply to adults, as young children are also able to understand when they’re classified differently from classmates who are better at math. This article on ability grouping is quite telling, as interviews with the young students reveal that even at their tender age, separation and labelling can adversely affect them. The danger is having that mindset may damage their perspective well into adulthood, which means their mathematical abilities will not be able to develop with that dark cloud hanging over their heads.
Helping kids to understand that their relationship with math will extend far beyond the classroom is one way to achieve a positive reaction. When they see that adults have to deal with math for financial transactions, bills, and shopping, it will give them a new perspective. The notion that math is merely a subject one needs to pass for exams is what causes a lot of issues. Understanding that math is valuable and necessary to everyone’s daily lives, will make the process a lot easier, as opposed to having them memorise math concepts, or forcing them to complete exercises.
Play is The Way
Play is another way to get them excited about doing math. Kids learn well with visual cues, so anything involving tangible items or graphics is a spectacular way to build skills. With playing and learning becoming one and the same, a child’s opinion on math can evolve and negativity will not be part of the equation. Play can mean anything from DIY games around the house to games that make use of digital technology.
Zap Zap Math is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to gamified learning, where they can learn without trepidation. We’ve even come up with the Web Dashboard, so parents and teachers can track without hovering too much. It is our hope that through our learning ecosystem, kids will be more confident in their math abilities.
Introduce your kids to a fun and fret-free way of building their Math skills, with Zap Zap Math. Download a copy today, and give your kids the gift of independent learning.