Before the first day of school and throughout the school year, maths class strikes fear in the hearts of some primary school students. In fact, the dread can be so overwhelming that some write-off the essential subject altogether.
However, our research and results show that you, as a parent, can help your children develop positive associations with maths before they head back to school!
This fear, or “Maths 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. This paralysing loss of self-confidence can persist well into adulthood.
How to overcome “Maths Anxiety” with 3 simple steps
According to a former maths teacher and Curriculum Director, (and now Vice President of Whizz Education), Kevin Judd, Vice President of Whizz Education, parents can help children overcome their anxiety and develop positive associations with maths by taking the following three steps:
1. Create a Maths Family Tree
“I don’t have the maths gene,” is a common statement in our culture. To dispel this notion at home, you can show your children examples of family members who have excelled at maths and used it to better the lives of others. Then, draw a tree, paste down the pictures and hang it up for inspiration throughout the year.
2. Demystify Maths with Daily Discussion
Talking about maths on a daily basis will demystify the topic and help children understand how it can be useful in everyday life. This will diffuse some of the power it can hold over children and shift their perception from terrifying foe to useful tool. For example: let your child pay at the tills and check to make sure they have received the correct change.
3. Make Learning Maths a Fun Event
As parents you can use exciting excursions and everyday activities such as baking, drawing, sight-seeing, computer time etc. to cultivate a love for maths in your 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.
So, follow these steps, add your own – its up to you! Maths is more than a subject, its an essential everyday life skill, and so encouraging your child to combat common maths anxiety will prove more than worthwhile for both their school and future career.
Here at Whizz Education we are fanatical about fun maths – after all, there’s happiness in numbers. Maybe we could help your children combat maths anxiety? Take a look here to see how.