How to Build up Your Child’s Math Confidence
It’s a common experience… your child sits down to work on math homework but very quickly becomes visibly stressed, frustrated, or upset. For many kids, doing math can seem like a daunting task, even a scary one. And while many do overcome it, some of us carry this math anxiety with us for much of our lives. If you’re looking to help your child reduce their math anxiety, we have a few suggestions.
Be Empathetic To Math Struggles
Empathy can go a long way. Whether it’s because you experienced similar struggles as a child or watched someone else struggle, making your child feel like they’re not alone can help ease their stress. When kids hear that others in their lives faced similar challenges it can help them to feel understood and a little more confident to tackle the task in front of them.
Teach Them To Be Ok With Making Mistakes
Learning to be ok with making mistakes is distinct from addressing the emotions that bubble up with failure. Once your child is no longer feeling overwhelmed, helping them to feel ok with making mistakes is all about showing them that mistakes are often how learning happens. We often remember our mistakes more clearly than the times we didn’t need to struggle at all. Identifying where we went wrong is one of the best ways to learn how to get to the answer or solution on your own. Understanding the path it took to get something right, means committing to memory the path to success.
Tip: Try pointing out something that was previously hard for your child and is now easy because they figured out their mistakes and practiced until they got it. For example, learning to ride a bike, practicing a sport, or an earlier math concept.
Explain The Importance Of Finding (And Filling) Gaps
Lastly, very often the cause of math anxiety is the fact that earlier concepts weren’t mastered. Gaps in foundational knowledge create a shaky foundation for more challenging concepts. Particularly, if children don’t do well in math at an early age, it can have a cumulative effect.
At Kumon, we focus on mastery. We start students off at a comfortable starting point, which can sometimes mean starting on material that is below their current grade level. Current struggles might be top of mind for parents and the kids themselves, but often the solution to current struggles is filling in gaps in knowledge of earlier concepts. If a child never fully mastered addition, multiplication, division, and other foundational concepts, they are likely to hit a wall when more complicated concepts are introduced.
Enroll In A Math Program To Help Them Practice and Master their Skills
Enrolling your child in Kumon can help them fill those gaps as they consistently practice their math skills. We have some amazing stories of students beginning the program below grade level and quite quickly finding themselves above it. Many even share that they began helping their classmates with concepts they might have previously found challenging! Read our student success stories here.