Turn your child into a maths magician?

Maths Anxiety
Remember that fear of maths? Well it's called maths anxiety and it's real!
Remember that feeling of sitting down to a maths test, slightly sick, hands sweating, sure you must be coming down with the flu, and a little desperate to get away?

You may or may not have studied.... it made little difference because as soon as you turned the paper over, all the figures started to swim - and you went blank and felt dumber then Patrick Star.

Common statements that show maths anxiety are:
  • Helpless
  • Hopless
  • don't get it
  • I'll never get it so why try

    Maths anxiety, or the feeling of fear about maths, was first identified in the 1950's but the devastating way it affects performance is only now being looked at.

    Researchers at Stanford university are using scans to identify what is going on in the brains of children with maths anxiety.

    Interestingly enough they have discovered that children with maths anxiety respond to sums in the same way that people with a phobia of say spiders react when they see a large hairy spider coming toward them!

    This causes a decrease in brain activity making it harder to problem solve.

    In my next Wednesday Wisdom I want to look at ways to help reduce the anxiety that maths can cause our children. In the meantime it is important to encourage your child and remind them that they are not hopeless at maths.

    If you feel they are really panicking go back to simple sums that you know they can do, so as to build their confidence. Remind them that once they did not know how to do this but with practice and time they now do-so they are definitely good at maths- if they can do these then they can learn the new sums as well!

    The use of our daily, 15 minute worksheets, is a strong step in the right direction, as constant and short intervals of practice build confidence and knowledge. This helps to break down their fear.

    Be gentle but firm in your belief that they can do it, be patient- a phobia will not disappear over-night!

    Good luck, and have fun!

  • StayOnTrack Limited 2014