Turn your child into a maths magician?

Coping With Maths Anxiety
How to calm the storm! Helping your child cope with Maths Anxiety.
Last week we looked at maths anxiety, and saw that this is a very real thing. Children that suffer from maths anxiety, react to maths in much the same way as someone with a phobia reacts to spiders.

So as a parent what can you do to help your child with math anxiety?

1. Know what Maths Anxiety is:

It is anxiety about their ability to do maths, regardless of their skills. This can be caused by:

  • Slower performances than other children in their class

  • Insufficient or inappropriate instruction by the teacher (especially a teacher who may not feel confident in their own maths skills)

  • History of failure or bad experiences with maths

  • Culture, gender and stereotypes

  • A math''s disability such as dyscalculia

  • 2. Know what Maths Anxiety ISN''T:

    This is not a disability, this is a fear, a phobia and they can work through this.

    3. Prevent Maths Anxiety:

    This is about maintaining a positive maths environment.

  • Know your own attitude about maths: If you have a prejudice against maths it will show. Avoid telling your child "I can''t do math" or "I can''t help". Telling your child you can''t do maths gives them permission not to be successful.

  • Display positive attitudes about Maths: Telling your child that math may not always be easy but they can do it, is much better.

  • Celebrate small gains

  • What is the teacher''s reaction in class towards mistakes-is it an environment where mistakes are encouraged as part of the learning process? This is super important in understanding your child''s fear about maths.


    Don''t look at the maths, DO the maths-especially if they are finding it difficult.
    Don''t over-emphasis mistakes-some of the greatest learning happens in the mistakes we make.

    In order to build a foundation that helps grow your child''s confidence, your child first needs to learn solid math fundamentals-Maths Basic facts!

    Use StayOnTrack''s daily worksheets! Build a strong foundation for your child! www.stayontrack.co.nz. Share us with your friends!

    If your child is getting frustrated then go back to what they know, for example recite the 1''s, 5''s or 10 timetables.
    Remind them that once, they did not know this but now they do and they can learn this next set too. It''s all about practice!

    5.Show how maths works in everyday life- shopping, banking, groceries and travelling, all use maths and are skills they will need and use.

    6.Play Games: There are lots of fun games that teach and strengthen maths skills: Yahtzee, Battleships, Chess or Connect, Monopoly, Life, Blink, Lego, Uno, Jigsaw puzzles, and Sudoku- just to name a few.
    (Check out my article next Wednesday about Games and what skills they teach our children!)
    Family Games Night Rock- and you are also spending valuable time with your children so put those phones down!

    7.Take the emphasis off from Tests! Tests are a part of school but they are not the ultimate goal.
    Tests can be terrifying for a child that suffers from math anxiety.
    The goal is to learn math so they use it in their life.

    8. Have children write down their feelings about math-let them offload their feelings and fears.

    9. Reaffirm their self-worth: Children with math anxiety feel helpless and hopeless; they wonder ''what''s the point''? Some children may act up in maths class because they would rather been seen as the naughty kid than the ''dumb'' kid.
    This is very distressing and frustrating to you, as the parent.
    Reaffirm their self-worth by stating why they will do well, for example, "I am a student who......has been practicing my maths facts" etc

    10. Know when to get help: sometimes Maths Anxiety can be mixed in with a maths disability, if you are concerned it is more than anxiety, then talk privately with the teacher and see how the school can help you.

    StayOnTrack''s next Wednesday Wisdom is going to focus on the different stages within our schools; we will start with the Emergent Stage and move right through to the Advanced Proportional Part Whole Stage.
    I will explain what these are, what your child is expected to be able to do at these stages and how you can help.

    I am also going to include a great article on fun games and how they help our children learn maths!

    StayOnTrack Limited 2014