How a child can avoid math problems and where they come from

Mathematics and has a reputation as the most difficult school subject. From the very first grade, children hear that computing is not easy. Perhaps that is why, by high school, 60% of students begin to be afraid of mathematics and worry about tests. However, parents from an early age need to help children fall in love with numbers and prevent the development of mathematical anxiety in the future.

– Forget about the humanities and mathematicians

Many children think that math is not for them. As if this item is not for everyone, but a gift from heaven, which they either got or not. This attitude is formed by adults who say: “Sasha is a humanist.”

This suggests that success is based only on innate ability. Children with a fixed mindset take failure as proof that they are limited. Much more effective is the growth mindset, the belief that success is not determined by the location of the stars, but by work and effort. This helps the child see failure as an incentive to redouble their efforts.

Therefore, the first rule of moms and dads is not to label or limit children, assuring them that they can’t do math and they have a different mindset.

Scientists have long proved that the division into the humanities and mathematicians is just a myth.

Where does math anxiety come from?

When parents who think they’re bad at math try to help with homework, they pass on their math anxiety to their kids. If you yourself are afraid of fractions, and you get a migraine from quadratic equations, it’s better not to take help with solving examples at all. Delegate this to specially trained tutors.

You can support the child in another way – show him that the numbers and do not scare you. You can visually show how you use mathematical knowledge in everyday life. For example, how many cakes do you need to buy for a holiday if the child knows that he will definitely eat at least two pieces, and there will be five guests.

Feel free to involve children in calculations and give more examples that they will associate with something familiar or their own favorite things. Remember to emphasize that math is important in all areas of life and work, from programming to cooking.

– Praise your child for efforts and don’t be afraid of bad grades

Threes and twos can demotivate anyone. It is very uncomfortable to realize that you are the only one out of 25 classmates who does not understand the rules of division. This is how math anxiety develops. But parents can fix this by praising their kids for the work they do, not for the grade they get.

Children need to be taught from an early age that mistakes are okay. We do not always do everything right and do not always know the answer, and there is nothing shameful in this. And if a child asks you for help with an equation, and you barely remember the multiplication table yourself, feel free to say: “I don’t know, let’s try to figure it out together.” This recognition alone can reduce anxiety. Be there and encourage your child. Let him know that you are proud of him, because he tries and does not give up.

– Play math games – board games and mind games

Play is the most natural way for every child to experience the world. Therefore, mathematical games will be appreciated even by those who do not like to solve problems. Try playing math card games with the whole family – with preschoolers and first-graders, you can play 7 by 9 or Many-Many. A student who has recently started learning fractions will love the game “Delissimo” – it seems to be about pizza, but in fact it is about numerators and denominators. Among the board games there are many games based on mathematical principles. For example, Geometrics, Turbo Account, Nullern, Rummikub and Rogues.

On a walk or in a boring line at the clinic, you can play simple mathematical games. For example, invite your child to think of a number and try to guess it by asking leading questions: “Is this an even number?”, “Is it divisible by five? How about three? and so on. Then switch roles. This helps develop memory and the ability to count in the mind, and at the same time relieves nervousness before calculations.