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7 Ways to Drive Away the Fear of Maths

expert
Aditi Dash
5 days ago
Education Education
8-10 8-10
7 Ways to Drive Away the Fear of Maths

 

We all can vouch for that formidable influence the subject of Maths has had on us. That panic during Math classes, while doing the homework, or even the thought of studying it for exams. Most often we come across statements like “I just need passing marks and then I will be done with this”.

 

Even though we have always acknowledged the fear, no one ever took a pause to question the source of and the reason behind this “Math anxiety/phobia”. Let’s take a few moments to understand the bad reputation of mathematics and how to redeem it for the fun subject it is. 

 

fear of maths

 

WHY DO KIDS FEAR MATHS? 

 

Let’s look at some possible sources that nourish this fear and establish themselves as strong reasons for steering clear of mathematics-

why do kids fear maths?

  • Lack of mastery of early math skills
     

This acts as a major contributor to anxiety. Without acquiring the fundamentals, children are expected to carry out complex calculations. This adds to the uncertainty of getting the right answers and grows into anxiety.

 

  • Faulty method of teaching
     

More often than not, rather than leaning towards a method that is easy to comprehend, teachers employ methods that are difficult to understand as well as to apply in the real world. 

 

faulty teaching methods

 

  • Lack of positive association with the subject
     

From an early stage, before attending a proper school, children form a fun association with activities like reading, writing, and drawing by engaging with their parents. But with maths, even though it is equally important in day-to-day life, there is no engagement with it for fun. By the time they reach the school stage, these concepts are new to them and they are not able to interpret them in their own light. 

 

  • Similar to test anxiety
     

The objectivity of the subject can be intimidating for kids who are already afraid of failure. Just like a test, the existence of a right or wrong answer and the time restrictions can be an added burden. 

 

  • Not encouraging mistakes
     

With a subject like maths, the approach of learning through mistakes has never been motivated. Rather than evaluating their mistakes, students get demotivated, planting the ultimate doubt of incapacity in their heads. 

 

  • Lack of practice
     

Even with thorough understanding, without timely practice, the concepts will easily get lost on students. There could be situations in which students might have a good grasp of concepts but while practicing the problems, they struggle. 

 

lack of practice

 

Check out: What are Children's Learning Style and How to Determine Them?

 

IMPORTANCE OF MATHS IN OUR LIVES

 

  • Foundation for future career options
     

Apart from the personal development, the subject has to offer, Maths plays an immense role in aiding future career options. With competitive exams being channels for admissions and placements, understanding the concepts of maths has become imperative as it is present in all such exams. 

 

  • Real-world applications
     

It’s true that maths is everywhere. Even though it’s painful to accept the same but be it for a CEO, biologist, rocket scientist, artist, or even for a real estate agent, maths shows its significance for all walks of life. These days, with coding becoming a hobby for most of the youth, having a good understanding of maths is going to help them further their interests and talent. 

 

  • Excellent for your brain
     

Our brain develops important neural pathways to process information. The construction of mathematics acts as food for the brain which modifies the functioning of our brain, contributing to greater creative and analytical skills. When children solve a problem by breaking it down to its premises, observing the relations, and approaching it rationally, it prepares them for real-world problems and they are able to utilize certain parts of the brain more reliably. 

 

ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES - HOW TO REMOVE THE FEAR OF MATHS?

 

The subject definitely deserves a second chance and innovative methods of teaching and introducing this subject can provide the necessary redemption-

 

alternative methods of teaching maths

 

  1. Engaging students in the dramatization of arithmetic problems or forming shapes to understand corners and edges better. For example - Teachers can assign students to act as characters from word problems, wherein a student can be a buyer, one can be a seller and some other can act as a producer. 
     
  2. Using children’s toys to introduce basic concepts of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication which can be employed in playschools as well as at home. 
     
  3. Table-top games can be an increasingly fun approach towards the concepts of maths - Math-o-Rama by Pretty Geeky is a card-based game that introduces kids to the concept of addition through the mythological story of Rama slaying Ravana’s 10 heads. Consisting of 54 number cards and 14 special feature cards, this game offers immense development without any screen time. Through the element of fun, Math-o-Rama ensures the enhancement of creative and analytical skills, logical reasoning, and holistic cognitive development. The game, if adopted in a child’s journey with maths, can ensure the establishment of a strong foundation. Pretty Geeky has an array of games such as Ticks & Tocks, Half a Doodle, Tens & Tiaras, and Take the Cake to improve your child's math skills.

    MATH-O-RAMA
  4. Tapping into students’ natural creativity to understand the idea behind maths. This can be introduced by engaging them in conversations revolving around the concepts. 
     
  5. Peer teaching is also an effective channel that allows students to be more open about their doubts through discussion. Students who have clarity regarding the concepts can engage other students in discussions. 
     
  6. Using various interactive apps available for devices that have an attractive interface. For example - MonsterMath, SplashLearn, Marble Math Junior. 
     
  7. Combining it with visual arts like learning symmetry by cutting through a rangoli/mandala. 

 

Mathematics has always been misconstrued and that is a collective fault. As we saw, there are so many contributing factors to this anxiety. But, this can also be collectively rectified by comprehensive and enhanced efforts on the part of teachers and parents and we know there is a lot of help available out there, with innovations taking place every day. 

 

Also read: Games: The New Learning Mechanism

 

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• education
• fear
• Success
• maths