Dealing with Maths Phobia ? Here are a few tips to help students beat it
Mathematics is one of the most feared subjects in school. The horror is so intense that most students have difficulty in grasping the concepts. They don’t want to give time to it for understanding, they dislike the subject entirely. This can be known as Maths Phobia.
This fear of Maths can induce anxiety and ultimately lead to poor performance. The low grades in the subject can have a negative effect of the child’s emotional and psychological well being. It is a blow to their self esteem. As the difficulty level increases with each passing year, struggle to understand basic concepts becomes too much to handle.
The pressure to perform is intense. The constant negative feedback (low grades) adds to the child’s suffering. These are real issues that need to be dealt with. Some issues can be tackled through discussion, counselling and even with practice. There are a couple of exercises which can be done regularly to improve performance in maths so that the child doesn’t panic as soon as he/she sees the question paper, or lose confidence and go blank.
Prepare your child emotionally: If you see your child feeling anxious or avoiding the subject, try and speak about what they feel about it. Help them to overcome the challenges they feel.
Practice: The best way to learn maths is by practice. Help your child to practice in a systematic manner. Identify enjoyable ways of learning the subject.
Cooperative Groups: Involve them in cooperative groups during which children will act as a help to each other in solving a solution. Peer learning is very effective and aids in boosting confidence.
Communicate and Encourage: Communicate to the child how much he/she enjoyed the maths session today and what he/she will be doing tomorrow.
Start from the basics: Start from the point where your child finds maths easy and confident of getting it right; build up progressively from there.
If the above exercises do not work and you still observe your child struggling hard to get through his practice tests, it is time you thought about alternative options to help him/her improve his/her concentration. Nothing is more important than the child’s comfort.
Here are signs you should look for when you are thinking of reaching out to a professional for help: if you see you child constantly struggling and despite all efforts nothing seems to change, if you see that your child gets anxious or tries to avoid studying maths, if he/she has a repeated foul mood associated with the subject, and has a constant need for reassurance while solving sums.
Professional help from clinical psychologists, psychologists, and counsellors can do wonders for children going through mathematics phobia. Your child would probably also need the help of a special educator to establish a systematic method of learning.
This article has excerpts from The Hindu. Read the original here.