Friday, September 9, 2016

Is your math anxiety being visited on your kids?

According to a study in Psychological Science, children of highly math-anxious parents learn less math and are more like to develop math anxiety themselves if the parents help with the math homework.

The researchers tested 438 kids from 29 public and private schools in three midwestern states for math ability as well as anxiety. The parents also completed questionnaires.

The more the math-anxious parents tried to help, the worse thekids did, slipping a third of a grade level.

For instance--it is not good to say, "I am not a math person either--and that's OK."

One parent said she tried to disguise her anxiety by holding apiece of paper in front of her face, but ultimately blurted out, "What are these teachers thinking? Are they nuts?"

Um...not good.

Math anxiety may affect as many as 20% of adults.

Some parents do lash into it--even the Common Core math, which many find exasperating and certainly different than they were taught. One parent watched videos, asked for manuals.

She said she found math was getting easier. That's what studying will do for you.

I had to teach my daughter the multiplication tables. The school decided that was beneath them. I made flash cards--she learned somewhat. But I still think drilling in the classroom was best.

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