Math is a subject that evokes strong emotions from most high school students.
While some love math, others really hate it and it causes them anxiety
and frustration. Math can be a very intimidating subject but it’s
necessary for so many career paths that most students have no choice.
Math teacher Janet McAlister; “Most students miss out on baseline
building blocks. This happens early on in their school careers. Since
math builds on previous knowledge, missing building blocks can cause problems
for years to come. When students have a bad attitude towards math, it
can make it more and more intimidating… they just get freaked out!”
If your student is struggling with math, it may take some time to get them
to accept help or to overcome problems, but it’s well worth the
investment. Having a positive attitude towards math will reduce their
anxiety levels and help them to excel.
Get a tutor
Tutors are specialists in helping students go back to their foundations and fill
in the gaps.
Tutors will work at a pace that suits your student and help them with homework
and exam preparation. Getting a tutor means that your student gets the
one-to-one attention they need to overcome their math hurdles.
Most students will do better at math if their confidence improves. When
they change their internal dialogue from “I’m not good at
math” to “Math is easy!” they are able to work through
problems and solve them. You can help to build confidence by reassuring
students of their capabilities. Praise any improvements in their math
scores and be sure to remind them of how capable and smart they are.
Offering incentives and rewards for improvements in math grades can make
a big difference. Most students respond well to positive reinforcement,
so give it a try!
Get your daily dose
Try to do math every day. Get your student to work out the tip on restaurant
bills, or help you to balance your bank accounts. Get them to draw up
budgets for the home, do the math on building projects or help younger
siblings with their math homework. Going back to the basics will help
them to build confidence. Get them to explain their math homework to you
or tutor younger students at their school. When you have to explain something
to someone else, you often end up understanding it better yourself. This
will help to fill in any gaps in the foundations and revise earlier math
techniques that will help them with the more complex math they have to
face in high school.
Harbouring a negative attitude towards math makes for an anxious school
year filled with dread. Math exams become a nightmare to prepare for and
poor grades can negatively affect grade point averages. Help your student
to change their attitude towards math and revolutionize their high school