Fear of Math is real. Mathemaphobia is the phobia-like feeling of many towards mathematics. Mathematical anxiety, as it is more commonly known, is the constant doubt of not being able to answer correctly when faced with a math problem. Children are experiencing fear of math as early as first grade and mostly by high achievers. This anxiety can put these students half a year behind their peers.
As much as we like to sweep math under the rug, math problems cannot be escaped from. In fact, it is a basic life skill—young and old, rich and poor encounter math daily. From going to the grocery to dividing the bill when eating out with friends, math is needed. Fear of math is crippling and if parents ignore or do not do anything about it, the child’s future will suffer.
As young as six years old, children experience the symptoms of Mathemaphobia which includes feelings of apprehension, tension, frustration or fear, while physical symptoms include butterflies, a racing heart or struggling to catch breath. Children from this study reported negative and overwhelming emotions when faced with math and some result in acting up in class to the point of crying or being sent out of the classroom.
It is high time to consider math anxiety or fear of math as a real concern because of its damaging effects to a child’s learning. Like all kinds of fears, parents can help their children conquer it.
How can parents teach their child to conquer their fear of math?
First is to change their own mindset about math to a positive one. Children get their cues from parents and if even parents dread math or dread teaching their children math, the children’s reaction will be surrender—“If my mom or dad is afraid of math, and they are older and stronger and wiser than me, then Math is indeed undefeatable.” According to a study, “tackling their own (parents and teachers) anxieties and belief systems in maths might be the first step to helping their children or students.”
Solve math problems together with the children. This is the moment to show support especially when the concepts are still basic. Doing so will teach them critical thinking skills. By the time they get older and the concepts are harder, they are now independent learners who can solve on their own. Should you like time and skill, this is where math enrichment centers like SAM Singapore Math come in.
Second, utilize the child’s learning pace. Obviously, the traditional way of teaching math is not working for all kinds of students and unfortunately, schools do not have the liberty to tailor-fit the lesson for one student. Thus, those who are behind in math lessons are forced to endure their standing. Also, because of the school calendar, the student can move up the next grade without mastering the concepts. More misunderstood topics pile up with each grade level and the fear grows. Some “let it be” thinking they will move up anyway but the bad news is, there is still math next year even after they graduate from school and it will get more and more difficult.
In an enrichment program like SAM Singapore Math, students are assessed to match their right level and will be guided thoroughly to catch up. For example, not all Grade 6 students can do Grade 6 math. Some can only do Grade 4 math and it is not too late for them with the help of competent teachers. The low student-teacher ratio in SAM also helps with the pacing, making it comfortable for the child. This is the stark difference from traditional schools.
Third, make learning math fun and easy. Through play, children learn to persevere, focus and control emotions.
These are necessary in learning concepts like Math. Studies indeed show that teaching a lesson, math or otherwise, engages a child’s brain better for learning. SAM Singapore Math can definitely help parents in making math more fun with no memorization, just comprehension. SAM uses manipulatives, toys and engaging worksheets to display concepts visually for greater and faster understanding. This is done in a fun, game-like atmosphere to optimize engagement. At SAM, learning math is fun and easy!
From SAM BF Las Piñas, Mommy Rhean says that her son himself said to her that “math is fun” and she thanks SAM for developing the right attitude towards learning in her son.
Mommy Ging from SAM Batangas City testifies that her daughter did not only learn Math in an easy and enjoyable way but she appreciates math itself and its practicality.
Finally, Mommy Liza from SAM San Pedro, Laguna says that her son is more eager in learning math and there is no more crying unlike before. There are only minimal errors in his exams and now he is more confident.
For more information about SAM, visit its website at http://seriouslyaddictivemaths.com.ph and its Facebook page (facebook.com/SAM.SingaporeMath.Philippines).
SAM Singapore Math has 50 branches nationwide including Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, CDO and more. Help your child overcome fear of Math by enrolling him in the nearest SAM Singapore Math Center. SPONSORED CONTENT