Steps to Help Reduce Math Anxiety

By Dallan Hunt

Math skills build on themselves. Think of math like a ladder. Each step builds upon the previous step. When new concepts come around this year, there might be some anxiety associated with learning (or re-learning) math skills.

Fear not! Here are some tips you to share with your child to reduce math anxiety and ensure math success this year:

1. Believe you can do it. Don’t doubt yourself. It’s damaging to your confidence, your mindset, and your grades. It’s not fair to you. Worry can affect your thought processes and your memory. Math is logical. You can understand it with time, practice and perseverance.

2. Participate in math class. Don’t worry about what other kids say. Raise your hand whenever you can. Ask questions, volunteer, and provide answers. Make sure your teacher calls on you as much as he/she calls on others. Be persistent. You’ll find that you know as much as your classmates. This will boost your confidence and before you know it, you’ll be the one other kids look up to.

3. Find a “study buddy” to help you with math assignments, homework, and studying for tests. Having a study buddy will give you confidence, a supportive friend with similar goals, and the friendly challenge you need to stay on track. It’s sometimes easier to ask a study buddy questions you’re not sure how to ask of a teacher. Plus, when your grades begin to rise, you’ll have someone to celebrate with!

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Girl participating in math class to help ease math anxiety

4. Do positive self-talk. Yes, talk to yourself! Remind yourself of all the hard study time you’re logging, the work you’re doing with your study buddy or tutor, the improving grades on your quizzes, and the many times you’ve participated in class. All these things accumulate. Positive self-talk can ease a lot of stress.

5. Celebrate your successes. These don’t have to be big celebrations but take some time to recognize your math growth. Every time you get the right answer, volunteer in class, raise your hand (whether you get called on or not), do well on a quiz or help out a classmate, give yourself a high-five. You’re improving!

6. Recognize your growing confidence. Every little step forward is a step in the right direction and will help boost your confidence. Having confidence and believing in yourself each step of the way will only help to get you even further in your progress!

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These steps are equally helpful with just about any subject or any anxiety you have. The most important things are to commit to improving, notice small improvements and give yourself credit for erasing anxiety from your life and replacing it with confidence. Good luck!

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We'd love to talk with you about how we can help your child reach his or her individual goals!