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How Students Can Work On Building Math Confidence


Building math confidence can be one of the most challenging acts for students. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that girls perform less well in math than boys. This is not at all due to their sex; in fact, it comes down to a girl’s level of confidence in their mathematic abilities. When students work on building math confidence, they’re less afraid to make mistakes. They’re also more likely to challenge themselves to handle more difficult math problems. As a result, the student’s math skills and confidence increases.

What can you do when you hear your child say “I’m bad at math”? As parents, it’s important to encourage building math confidence in your child. That confidence allows children to understand the value of mistakes, take risks, and persevere.

Here’s how you can help your child increase their pride and confidence in their math knowledge:

Four Strategies To Help Your Child Build Math Confidence

  1. Praise Their Efforts

One of the most critical ways to help boost your child’s confidence is by praising their hard work and dedication. Using praise to increase your child’s math confidence helps them improve. Smart praising starts with helping your child identify their success with hard work and thinking to motivate them. This is a growth mindset. Praise their focus, dedication to improving and actions instead of praising their intelligence. Many students believe that good math abilities are based on naturally born intelligence. Teach children that with hard work and focus, their success in math can improve.

Utilize sayings such as “great job on this math problem, I know this type of fraction is difficult.” Similarly, avoid offering only generic praise or empty praise as much as possible.

2. Teach Them The Value of Mistakes

Children and adults alike are intimidated by the fear of making mistakes. It is human nature, however, it’s also one of the greatest obstacles to our success. Mistakes are important to successful learning and engagement. When students are too afraid to make mistakes, they are limiting their engagement and ability to problem solve. In her book Mathematical Mindsets, Jo Boaler explains how mistakes and struggles are critical for important learning experiences. In fact, she states how brain research has shown that the brain develops each time a mistake is made.

Children make the most progress when they make mistakes and with challenges. In a math classroom setting, it’s important for children to identify mistakes and understand them as learning opportunities rather than negative errors.

3. Help Your Child Understand the Importance of Self-Reliance

When students feel proud of themselves and brave in their studies, they do not need to rely on you or their teacher to solve a problem. Self-reliance helps children trust the work they do and justify their own mathematical thinking. Being self-reliant allows children to be motivated from within themselves and manage their studies. Parents are the role models in teaching this act as their children watch every move they make. By giving children mathematical freedom, they can become more secure in their work and confident. Encouraging children to work on completing math problems on their own helps them in the long-term.

4. Set Math Goals With Your Child

Setting realistic goals is vital to boosting your child’s math confidence. As the school year progresses forward, the math goals you’ve set with your child will help them identify how much they’ve learned and improved. Set everyday math goals based on number and numerations, data, operations, geometry, measurement, functions and algebra. These goals can build a reliable base of consistent improvement and learning for each skill. Tracking your child’s math progress throughout the school year allows them to revisit what they’ve learned. Once your child meets their math goals, feel free to celebrate their accomplishments.

Oxford Learning’s math tutoring helps children with math anxiety find their confidence and achieve their math goals. At Oxford Learning, children from every age and grade level  are offered personalized math tutoring programs. It’s the priority of our tutors to provide students with the proper foundations to learn and succeed at math.Oxford Learning’s math tutoring helps children with math anxiety find their confidence and achieve their math goals. At Oxford Learning, children from every age and grade level  are offered personalized math tutoring programs. It’s the priority of our tutors to provide students with the proper foundations to learn and succeed at math.

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