Does your child HATE maths? You’re not alone! Too often we meet children in our tuition centre’s who have a real dislike for this subject. While it may be a common occurrence, it doesn’t have to be the “norm”. Let’s start out by stating one general fact about Maths – it is not easy. Understanding and becoming “good” at Maths takes time, repetition and practice. It isn’t something most people or kids can see once and fully understand. In this article, we’re going to have a look at the common reasons kids hate maths, and what you can do to help.
Generally speaking, there are 3 different types of “Hate” for Maths. These are:
Self-Expectation to be bad at Maths
Some common complaints you might hear from your child who “expects” that they are bad and will continue to be bad at maths are:
“I’m just not good at Maths!”
“I always get the questions wrong”
“I’ve never been good at Maths”
This is a common excuse we hear from children. This usually indicates that after continually getting a number of Maths questions / quizzes wrong, they have come to the conclusion that they just aren’t good (and will never be good) at Maths. The feeling of ‘not being good enough’ then leads to hating the subject – it’s not uncommon even for adults to dislike things they are just not good at either, so don’t expect your child to love something that they feel they are not good at.
This cause of “Math-hate” is particularly hard to fix as the child is often reminded day after day of how much they are “bad” at Maths. Tests, quizzes and exams push child further into disliking the subject as the lack of understanding is now publicized in front of their peers.
How you can help
Children with this mindset towards Maths need to take a mental shift in their attitude towards Maths. As it stems from an inherit “I’m not good”, the easiest way to help improve this mindset is helping your child become better at Maths. The better they become, the more they will begin to like Maths – as the anxiety around not being good enough dissolves. If you are comfortable and confident helping your child at home, put some time aside every few days to help – and especially when Maths homework is being done, and when a test or exam is coming up. Sometimes, this option isn’t viable – either you don’t feel confident teaching the concepts or it becomes a mum/dad/child argument. In this case, seek professional help through a Maths tutor like Lynn’s Learning.
Lack of Stimulation
Some common complaints you might hear from your child who lacks stimulation in the Maths classroom are:
“Maths is boring”
“We do the same things over and over and over again”
Children need any subject at school to be stimulating. Sitting around doing the same thing over and over again gets boring a repetitive and can make even the most receptive child glaze over.
How you can help
There isn’t much you can do to assist these complaints from the classroom (although, a chat to your child’s teacher about these complaints may be beneficial), but you can help outside of school. Lynn’s Learning offers a very different Maths program to many other tuition providers. As well as teaching basic Maths skills and equations, the Lynn’s Learning maths tuition program also includes problem solving (worded) questions which encourages the child to apply mathematical concepts to a real-life scenario. These types of questions help break up the “over and over” style of basic teaching and makes the subject more interesting by showing children how they can use Maths in real life.
Instruction that doesn’t suit the child
Some common complaints you might hear from your child who has had poor instruction in the classroom are:
“I don’t understand”
“I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class and didn’t want to look stupid asking questions”
Every child is different to the next, and this means that each child learns differently and at a different rate to another. When learning a concept at school, it is common that only one way is taught and the pace allows for an “average” learner. This means that children who may need the concept explained in a slightly different way, or a child who needs a little more time to understand the concept can easily be left behind. Maths is like building a house in that if the basic foundations are not strong, the house cannot be built upon. In the same way, often when a child misunderstands a basic concept, every topic that uses this concept will become difficult as they don’t have the foundation to build upon.
How you can help
If your child is complaining that they don’t understand and the concept is not something you can easily help them with, you need to get some professional help. The faster you get this, the better – as in the early days it’s much easier to fix that basic foundation and ensure that any further concepts that build upon those basics don’t get missed by your child too. A good tutor will take the time to explain the concepts in a way that your child understands – even if it means explaining the same concept in multiple ways until a way is found that your child understands.
Get a Professional Opinion
If you are unsure whether your child needs maths tuition or not, the first step is to get an assessment done. Lynn’s Learning offers free assessments that are completely obligation-free. The assessment takes around 1 hour and helps identify any gaps or weaknesses in your child’s learning. Our tutors can then discuss the recommended ways to get your child back on track and enjoying Maths!
To book your free assessment, simply complete the form by clicking here.
Alternatively, feel free to contact Lynn’s Learning here and speak to one of our staff about any concerns you may have.