Math anxiety: What it is and how to help manage your child’s

If your child struggles with math anxiety, it’s important to understand what it is. Having an understanding of their emotional reactions to math class and/or math homework can be beneficial to helping them work through it. Extreme math anxiety is prevalent in about 2-6% of secondary-school level children. Less extreme math anxiety is more common and can also have a severe negative impact on your children.

According to the University of Cambridge Centre for Neuroscience in Education, math anxiety is, “a negative emotional reaction to mathematics that can be debilitating”. Math anxiety has also been defined as “a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in ordinary life and academic situations”. Someone who struggles with math anxiety can have a very hard time learning, practicing and applying math in school and out.

Math anxiety not only affects your children in school, but can also have an effect on their everyday lives. Children who struggle with untreated math anxiety can develop an avoidance to real-world situations in which anything with numbers or math is involved. This can even influence what careers they choose later on. Math anxiety has been shown to correlate with poor performance in math class which can impact your child’s overall attitude towards school.

Some signs that your child struggles with math anxiety can include negative-self talk surrounding math, putting off math work, panic when doing math homework, and lack of motivation to work on math. If this sounds like your child, there are ways in which you can help them to overcome their math anxiety.

Encouraging positive self-talk about math is a good place to start. If your child begins to put themselves down about their math abilities, attempt to change the tone of the conversation to a positive one. Uplifting your child about their math skills can help to change their overall attitude about math. Another way to help your child is to schedule times during the week when they will work on math, either independently or with the help of a tutor. Scheduling tutoring sessions can be an efficient way to ensure that your child is consistently practicing their math skills.

Getting organized, having a schedule, and including extra help for your child’s math lessons can have significant effects on their math anxiety and performance. Working with a tutor to clear up any confusion before math class or exams will reduce their anxiety about math greatly.

Flexible and affordable online practice worksheets are available with Up-skool. Up-skool encourages self-paced learning for you child where they can practice comfortably and without having to worry what others will think if they don’t do well. Personalized and engaged learning for your child’s math curriculum can reduce their math anxiety, improve their performance, and foster a positive attitude toward math.

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