Math Anxiety: The Right Way to Help a Child Fearful of Math

teaching a child math

A lot of young kids fear math. Some get jittery when called to answer number problems. Others feel helpless, thinking that they’re the only one in the class who doesn’t understand the lesson.

It can be a real challenge if your child has this problem, given that math hits a lot of subject matters in school and essentially, in life. So as a parent, what can you do to help your kid who’s afraid of numbers? Here are some strategies based on the common reasons behind math anxiety.

Go back to the basics

To some kids, the fear of math is basically a case of being left behind. They were taught basic numeracy skills, but they weren’t able to master them until additional, more complex math was introduced in class.

Ask your child where exactly they struggle when solving problems. Or, give them something to work on and then observe where they find difficulty in. Once you know that knowledge gap, fill it in by teaching them the basics. Show them how to do it. Then, let them do it with your guidance. Finally, make them solve it on their own.

Practice until they master that fundamental math skill. This is one of the training strategies teachers use when going through basic math elementary course in Gilbert, AZ schools. Try it at home. Look for exercise tests online for different lessons.

Make math fun

teaching math

In other instances, it’s a horrible experience with math that makes kids afraid of the subject. They probably were made fun of when they peed their pants in front of the class while solving an addition problem. Or, they felt so alone and insecure completing their last math exam.

If this is the case with your child, it’s a matter of repackaging the subject. Make it enjoyable. Install number game apps on your phone and let your child spend at least half an hour of their screen time playing it.

Or, go old school. Bring out the board games. Teach them Monopoly, Sequence Numbers, Sushi Go Party, and the like. Gather the entire family every Friday night for this activity. Hopefully, with these fun activities, they’ll be able to change their perspective about math.

Change your perspective yourself

Another reason kids fear math is they didn’t have enough positive concepts linked to it before they entered school. It’s not like reading that parents do every night and promote to kids. So, when children see numbers in class, it’s not much of a familiar idea.

Worse, their perspective was already tainted with negative connotations like, “math is only for geniuses.” This can be perpetuated at home when kids hear parents say, “I’m simply not good at solving problems,” or, “Let your dad help you with that fraction homework.”

The fix to this is simple. Change your perspective about math yourself. Display a can-do attitude. If you can’t, at least, keep the negativities to yourself.

If ever these things make no difference, ask help from your child’s teacher. They might be able to make some adjustments to their way of instruction or offer tutoring programs to accommodate your struggling kid.

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