Maths Anxiety and Confidence

Many people are aware of the fear and anxiety that is present for many people with public speaking but not so many will be aware of the anxiety and discomfort that millions of adults and children have with maths.

The discomfort can make itself felt for children whilst at school often resulting in them both forgetting what they have learned and having lower levels of confidence.

Lack of confidence can result in lower performance in school whereas greater confidence does the opposite and results in children doing a lot better. This is so important when your children learn times tables.

The time pressure that is part of maths tests at school, the public pressure to get the answers right, and the experience of not instantly knowing the answers to maths questions often adds to children’s feelings of anxiety.

Marilyn Curtain-Philips in her brilliant article – The causes and Prevention of Math Anxiety, says that children would do much better in a school environment and classroom which has been planned out in such away as to help children to feel more confident and is a place where wrong answers to questions are managed in a helpful and encouraging way.

I agree with all this but what can you as a parent do?

You are not in charge of the classroom but you are in charge of the learning environment that is your children’s home. Here you can make a big difference to your children’s confidence in maths and of course when they learn times tables.

First, when helping your children learn times tables at home you can use audio times tables worksheets to create a positive learning environment.

There is testing with these when used to learn times tables, however, the testing is in private and in your home and there is no external pressure from others.

There is therefore no anxiety in getting the answer wrong in front of their classmates and if a wrong answer is given the audio feedback happens straight away and the correct answer given without a fuss being made.

Second, and this is a really big thing, before being tested using audio times tables worksheets, your children can learn times tables so well that they easily have an Instant Recall ability to answer the questions.

How can they do this? Simple by using an Instant Recall method to learn times tables that uses a mixture of colour, images, speaking and listening.

When you do these two things your children will have confidence when learning maths, will learn to love the subject, and will learn times tables well.

So let’s go back to an earlier paragraph and summarise how you can make a huge difference to your children’s learning;

With audio times tables worksheets and an Instant Recall method used to learn times tables the time pressure that is part of maths tests at school is not there, the public pressure to get the answers right is not there, and the experience of not instantly knowing the answers to maths questions is not there.


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