The Curious Case of Math Anxiety
Beep beep beep...nervousness….sweaty hands...quick breaths...beep beep beep...palpitations in the heart...nausea...beep beep beep...man down...man down...
The mystery sickness strikes again!
Sounds like your kid before a math test? Read on.
Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I assure you that mine are greater
If your kid gets pukish just thinking about math or displays passive-aggressive behavior to the level that he is unwilling even to attend math classes, it's time to take this seriously. He might be a victim of math phobia, aka Math anxiety.
Math anxiety is as real as it gets. And your child is not alone. Jo Boaler (Math professor, Stanford University) says that as much as 50 percent of the US population is plagued by it!
Another alarming stat is the percentage of Americans who believe in aliens (a whopping 57 percent!!), but that's a discussion for another day.
This mass crisis intrigued the impeccable Sherlock Holmes himself. Amused first at math's absurdity, causing trouble, he eventually took an active interest in the case.
The mastermind did what he does best. He questioned nervous students, deduced patterns, and cracked the case wide open with his 5-step strategy.
Step 1 - Break it down.
- Break down the problems into elementary parts. For word problems, spot keywords like "more, less, equal, etc.", identify the operations to be used, and then deduce the solution stepwise.
Step 2 - Relax the mind.
- Find a relaxation technique that works to eliminate trivial issues like self-doubt and stress.
Step 3 - Have fun.
- Add fun activities that build logical reasoning. Sports-based math games are an excellent way to learn about angles, curvature, and force.
Step 4 - Visualize, don’t memorize.
- It's a mind game. Visualizing concepts will make solving math problems a cakewalk.
Step 5 - Positive reinforcement.
- Trick the mind by tempting with a reward system. The child's favorite candy is a better motivator than a ban on TV time.
Sherlock insists that these 5 steps are a foolproof way to win the battle against Math anxiety. With a penchant for the spectacular, the eccentric genius wants all schools to hire choppers and drop flyers of this strategy!