Maths Problems

Maths Discomfort

**Struggling with basic number work. **

Basic number work and times tables are at the heart of maths.

Children and adults who are good at number work feel confident at Maths.

Those who struggle with numbers lose confidence. Here lies the seeds of maths discomfort and anxiety.

**Getting answers wrong in front of the class. **

It can be scary answering questions in front of the class. Getting answers wrong can lead to embarrassment.

If children get the answers wrong, they can feel added pressure to get the answers right the next time.

This can lead to maths discomfort and fear of failure.

**Certain types of tests. **

Tests in which children are unable to get the answers correct can lead to stress and tension.

Especially if the marks are seen by other children.

There is the added pressure of children measuring themselves in relation to these marks and judging their own abilities.

Timed tests without the right preparation can cause low marks and further maths discomfort.

**High Expectations. **

People who set very high standards and also have very high expectations of their children are setting their children up for tension and stress, especially if the children do not meet these expectations.

Also children who set high standards for themselves can cause themselves stress if they do not meet those standards.

**Missing school work. **

Missing school work because of illness and struggling to catch up.

Often maths builds on the last piece of work.

It is very important to spend extra time filling in the gaps in knowledge so as not to cause problems later.

**Different learning styles. **

Learning in ways which are not suited to individual styles.

It important that number work and maths is presented in ways that suit individual learning styles, otherwise problems can be created.

**Parental misconceptions.**

Parents pass on their misconceptions by telling their children that they were not good at maths.

This is particularly important because children learn from their parents and adopt their beliefs.

Often parents are well meaning, trying to take the pressure off their children because they found their maths lessons difficult.

However this does not help in the long run.

Many parents who say they are not good at maths are actually very capable of using maths in their everyday lives.

Many children receive the impression will be a difficult subject to enjoy.

**"I am hopeless at Maths". **

It is acceptable to say "I am hopeless at Maths"**.**

There is almost cultural collusion or belief that for some reason it is alright to say "you are hopeless at maths".

This mistaken belief affects society's view towards maths. No one would speak about being unable to read in this way.

**Just one bad experience with numbers. **

It only takes one bad experience with numbers for maths tension and anxiety to start.

This is the same as for other anxieties and phobias.

Once the anxious thoughts begin it can become a cycle of worry and discomfort.

Without effort to teach number work for confidence or intervention to change the tension and anxiety, this can become a problem which persists through a person's life.

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