Several people find the subject mathematics a very tedious task. Some people already have that notion that it is impossible to pass the subject but the reason for this fear is totally biased. Some people don’t even know the actual meaning of the subject and they do not actually know what it entails. Mathematics can simply be defined as the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity and arrangement. It is also said to be an abstract representational system used in the study of numbers, shapes, structure, change and the relationships between these concepts.
Actually, to eliminate fear of math in people, some crucial steps have to be taken by the individual in question, the child must be able to recognize the symptoms of math phobia, acknowledge your math anxiety, sign up for the proper level of math course, choose a professor who fits your learning styles, ask questions when you do not understand, work the easiest problems first and finally, give yourself plenty of time to study for a test.
Parents can help their children to overcome the fear of math. As a parent, you are advised to sit your child down and discuss her fear of math. Help him/her acknowledge the fact that he/she may not be enjoying the same comfort level with math as he/she does with other subjects. Acceptance is always the first step towards tackling any problem. It is essential to identify the root cause of your child’s fear of math. Sometimes, it just may be a fear of tests that causes math phobia. At the initial stage, avoid timed tests, as a focus on speed would only add to the anxiety and tension.
Parents should note that some thoughts can hurt their child’s self-esteem and confidence. When your child says things like “I am stupid, I am not good in maths”, help your child understand that everyone has different abilities and learning pace, also he/she should be proud of his other accomplishment. Such a positive outlook will boost his confidence and help him focus and perform better.
Parents can make mathematics fun and simple by simplifying the learning methods. Complicated maths problems can be made easy by breaking them down into smaller, simpler steps. Involve your child in maths games, puzzles and apps to make an enjoyable experience.
A parent’s attitude towards maths tends to reflect in the child’s outlook too. If you as a parent had a negative experience with maths, avoid making statements like “maths is hard” or “I hate maths”. Instead encourage your child by saying things like “math was difficult for me because I did not get the right support”. Today, there are so many resources online, fun activities and videos which can help the both of us get better at maths
Olatunde Heritage O.
Federal Government Girls’ College, Sagamu.