Why Some Kids Hate Math

Does your child hate Math?

I remember an exercise during my training to be a math educator: I was given 3 sticks to make a triangle. Piece of cake. I was then given 2 more sticks to make a 2nd triangle. No problem. Then I was given one more stick (so 6 sticks total) to make 4 triangles. For the life of me, I could not figure it out. Every now and then, the instructor would say to someone on my left, “You got it!”, then to someone on my right, “You got it!”. I was feeling more and more embarrassed. Why couldn’t I get it? What’s wrong with me? How can you make 4 triangles with just 6 sticks, it just doesn’t make sense? I went from relaxed state to anxiety state very quickly. Well, turned out the way you make 4 triangles with 6 sticks is by creating a tent, a 3-dimensional setup. That was good to know, but it wasn’t my biggest learning from the exercise.

The instructor asked us, “Did you start to feel anxious? When you heard me say “You got it!” to other people, did you start to feel smaller and smaller? Did you start to feel embarrassed, even wonder if there’s anything wrong with you? Were you relaxed or uptight? Never forget those feelings. That’s how a student feels when he struggles with Math.” That was my biggest learning of the day.

You see, kids don’t really hate math. They just hate being confused, intimidated and embarrassed by it. All those things I felt during the exercise – these kids feel that on a daily basis and they hate it. Wouldn’t you?

There is only one answer to combating those feelings: by being competent in Math.

At our Center, here’s how we help a child boost his Math Skills:

  1. Determine the gaps in a student’s math foundation. Often it’s the gaps that make it hard to grasp new math concepts.
  2. Present Math in a way that makes sense to them, paying special attention to the individual child’s learning style.
  3. Engage them to work out their math muscles in a fun, motivating environment.
  4. Assess them to affirm that the gaps are being filled and new skills are being developed.

If your child is showing signs of struggling with Math, don’t wait to get expert help. In our experience, parents have never brought their children to us for math help too soon. Rather many, 50% or more, have waited so long to get their children the expert help that they need that their kids have become math phobic, have lost their self-confidence, and have given up. In other words, many kids we see each week need full-scale math resuscitation! Getting the kids’ math and self-esteem on track at this point is a long and difficult process that could have been avoided by getting help earlier.

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