As Math Curriculum Gets Harder, Math Anxiety Increases
Is your homeschool tween suffering from the math heebie-jeebies? Research shows that math-related uneasiness, worry, and anxiety vastly increases during the early adolescent years. Some kids lack confidence because of poor past performance with problem-solving skills.
Math problem-solving is one of those critical thinking skills that progressively build on prior knowledge and experience, so if there was a gap in conceptual learning, your tween might feel insecure and afraid of failure. Other kids are intimidated by the unique vocabulary of math, and although they may be able to correctly work the problem, they feel that queasy knot in their stomach when an unfamiliar term surfaces on a standardized exam.
In this 11:50 minute TED talk, homeschool dad and math teacher, John Bennett, challenges the education status quo with his contention that middle school and high school math should no longer be a requirement for graduation. Do you agree or disagree?
How can you help your homeschool tween overcome math anxiety while improving his problem-solving skills? After years of teaching math in public school and to his own four kids, Bennett, discovered that puzzles and games are equally effective at equipping most tweens with the critical thinking skills that they need as adults…plus the kids who play games while learning are actually solving problems (without the anxiety) and eventually come to love arithmetic!
What constructive steps have you taken to help your homeschool preteen or teen overcome math anxiety?
P.S. Here’s a freebie for you to download: chemical reactions science lesson plan.