Even before the first day of school, math class strikes fear into the little hearts of some elementary school students. In fact, the dread can be so overwhelming that some children write-off math altogether with statements like, “I’m just not good with numbers,” according to experts at Whizz Education, creator of the award-winning, online math tutoring program, Math-Whizz.
“Math Anxiety” is defined as feelings of tension and apprehension that interfere with a person’s ability to solve mathematical problems both in academic and personal situations. The paralyzing loss of self-confidence can persist into adulthood.
According to a former math teacher and Curriculum Director, Kevin Judd, Vice President of Whizz Education, parents can help children overcome their anxiety and develop positive associations with math by doing these three simple steps!
Create a Math Family Tree
“I don’t have the math gene,” is a common statement in our culture. To dispel this notion at home, parents can show their children examples of family members who have excelled at math and used math to better the lives of others. Then, draw a tree, paste down the pictures and hang it up for inspiration throughout the year.
Demystify Math with Daily Discussion
Talking about math on a daily basis will demystify math and help children understand how math can be useful in everyday life. This will diffuse some of math’s power over children and shift their perception of math from terrifying foe to useful tool. For example, let your child pay at the register and check to make sure the correct change was received.
Make Learning Math a Fun Event
Parents can use exciting excursions and everyday activities such as baking, drawing, sight-seeing, computer time, etc. to cultivate a love for math in their children’s lives. For example, guessing where the car odometer will be at the end of a trip is great estimation skill that will help kids develop number sense.
Math doesn’t have to be stressful! Make it fun for you and your kids!