Maths is a little bit like Marmite: you either love it or shudder at the very thought of it! Sadly, for those who fall into the latter camp, these negative feelings can lead to maths anxiety, a phenomenon that’s become more common as a result of periods of disrupted learning.
Luckily, there’s good news. Armed with a positive mindset and the right strategies, it’s possible to rebuild your child’s maths confidence. Take a look at our top tips to help spark your child’s love of the subject!
How to overcome maths anxiety at home
1. Reward effort and determination
Rather than only rewarding your child for scoring well, celebrate the occasions where they show lots of effort and determination. This could be when they have another go at a really tricky question, for example.
Doing this is a great way to show your child the value of hard work and resilience. Plus, it’ll help them to develop a growth mindset — the idea that success can be achieved through hard work and dedication, and not their ability.
2. Encourage independent learning
Once your child understands the basics of a topic, encourage them to have a go at a few questions on their own. Be on hand to offer support and reassure them that it’s okay to find something tricky (in fact, this is what’ll help them to learn).
After they’ve had a go at a few questions, ask them to complete a full set of exercises without asking for help. Be sure to celebrate their hard work when they’re done! Doing this will help them to see that they have the skills and determination to find their own solutions.
3. Use DoodleMaths for 10 minutes a day
DoodleMaths is an app that’s specifically designed to help children overcome maths anxiety.
By setting work at just the right level, it lets each child work independently and experience ongoing success.
Best of all, it’s filled with interactive exercises, games and rewards, ensuring that learning is always exciting and rewarding!
4. Be positive about the subject
Did you enjoy maths at school? Or does the thought of equations make you feel slightly queasy? Even if you’re not a big fan of maths, be careful not to say this. Talking about how difficult it can be may even lead them to think that they can never become any good at it.
Instead, emphasise the benefits of a challenge. If you’re helping with homework and there’s something you’re not sure about, explore the problem together. Your child will be encouraged to follow your lead, helping them to develop a positive attitude towards maths.
5. Chat about how useful maths can be
Whether your child finds maths difficult, scary or boring, linking the subject to something they find interesting is a great way to boost their desire to learn more about it. For example, if they love video games, explain to them how maths plays a crucial role in creating them.
In fact, we all use maths in our daily lives without even thinking about it. Take a look at these examples with your child to show them that they’re already using it!
6. Use inspirational stories
A great way to inspire your child is to share your own experiences. If you found learning multiplications difficult, you could say how using rhymes and games helped you to memorise them.
Stories from famous figures are another great way to show your child the importance of practice and trying your best. For example, Serena Williams played tennis from the age of three and practised for two hours a day!
7. Contextualise maths with everyday activities
Stepping away from workbooks is a great way to bring the subject to life. It can also help to break down any fears your child may associate with textbooks or seeing written questions.
From using baking as a way of looking at fractions to using sundials to tell the time, we’ve got lots of fantastic ideas for maths activities you can enjoy at home or in the great outdoors.
Overcoming maths anxiety with DoodleMaths
Download the DoodleMaths app today to see how just 10 minutes of daily learning can boost your child’s confidence and spark their love of the subject!