Math anxiety is described as the fear or uneasiness in dealing with mathematical problems or situations. To some, it may seem like a made-up condition but studies reveal that math anxiety is real and thousands of people suffer from it.
The problem with this “condition” is that it’s contagious and children are the most vulnerable to it. Parents can easily pass on their dislike for numbers and the subject. And just like classroom viruses, the fear of math can also be passed on from student to student.
It is for all of these reasons that a renewal of the mind is crucial. While a child is still young, it is imperative to acknowledge that a great dislike for math can be a problem. Therefore, addressing it should be an early effort, particularly because math skills are so valuable in daily life.
Likewise, while a child is young, he or she is still quite open to various ideas because the personality is still being shaped — something you can use to their advantage.
Different Ways to Alleviate Math Anxiety
If you are a parent with a child who seems to have math anxiety, there is a large collection of solutions for it. Thus, it shouldn’t be too challenging to find one or several to try with your little one. Need some ideas? Here are five.
1. Enroll your child in a program focused on the subject.
Learning centers that offer advanced learning and math courses to young children are plentiful. You can enroll your child in one because these learning facilities are completely dedicated to teaching math in an easier and fun way.
Not only do they have highly experienced teachers but they also make use of creative approaches to effectively address the common issues behind math anxiety. At the same time, your child can benefit from a more relaxed learning atmosphere typical of these places. The courses are more focused on actually developing math skills than simply helping kids get a good grade in school.
2. Find ways to apply math lessons in daily life.
Reinforce the understanding of math principles by getting your child involved in math-related activities such as budgeting for groceries, cooking, and saving money in the bank (especially when computing the interest rate for their personal or the family savings account).
Although these activities only make use of basic math skills, the mastery of these skills creates a solid foundation for more complex math lessons.
3. Make math fun through games.
There are free online games that are designed for math learning. Look them up and get your young learner to try them. Most of the time, lessons in game formats work exceptionally well in encouraging children to apply their math skills.
Aside from online games, look into board games that also make use of math such as Monopoly, Dara, and Ticket to Ride to name a few. Card games are also perfect for learning math.
4. Provide your child with positive reinforcement.
There’s nothing that can make your child less anxious about math than knowing that overcoming unpleasant feelings about it and perhaps getting a good grade in school will make you super proud. But do not just stop with showering your little one with encouragement and praises. Perhaps, give him or her a reward as well.
Rewards do not need to be grand events or things. However, your child should know that his or her hard work at math yields something really good. A celebratory dinner at his or her favorite restaurant is a good reward. Ditto with seeing the movie he or she had been wanting to watch and getting all the snacks he or she wants from the concession stand.
5. Share with your child daily math “funnies.”
Adding humor to math learning is another effective way of reducing math anxiety. You can find funny comic strips on different math principles online. Share them with your kids to make light the perceived difficulty of doing math.
Math Can Transform from a Scary Subject Into an Enjoyable One
Nothing really is too hard for a person with no preconceived ideas of how challenging something is. When it comes to math, diminishing the difficulty of the subject through helpful programs and creative strategies can definitely do so much.
So, if your child is already displaying a slight aversion to math, you can implement the tips shared here to outwork the problem right away.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.