Tricks to Help Your Child’s Math Phobia

cardsIf your child gets nervous just by the idea of math, he might be experiencing some math phobia. Many kids are nervous about math.

Some of them find all the numbers and operations overwhelming, some kids may have a fairly under-diagnosed learning disability known as dyscalculia, and some just are convinced that “math is too hard.” But it doesn’t have to be.

Kids learn in different ways and at different paces. Your child’s conviction that math is too hard or her math phobia might be based in the fact that she’s just not able to learn using rote memorization and needs a more hands-on approach. Here are some ways to help her with that.

Card Game Math:

  • Ready, Set, Go! Practice one-to-one correspondence and number sense by removing the face cards from a deck and placing a piece of tape over the numbers in the corners. Have your child count the number of spades, diamonds, clubs, or hearts to see how many is in the set. Then she can peel up the tape to check herself.
  • Start “concentrating.” Play games like Concentration, Go Fish, or Uno to reinforce matching and patterning skills.
  • Take it to the tables. Once your child is old enough to be adding and estimating, teach her to play Blackjack. You don’t have to play to 21, you can play to any number you want and with or without face cards.

Cookie or Pizza Fractions:

You can teach your child the idea of parts of a whole quite easily using food as props. As long as you can divide it equal parts or slices, it’s game. Just make sure to let your child see the whole first or have another cookie (or pizza) to compare it too.

As she watches you cut the cookie into pieces, have her count how many, starting with 2. Then have her pick up one piece and tell her it’s 1 out of 2, which is written as 1/2. Before you know it, your child will be dividing all her food into equal pieces!

For more great at-home math games, like Multiplication Magic or Road Trip Math, check out The Everything Kids’ Learning Activities Book, available in bookstores, on Amazon and for your Kindle!

About Amanda

Amanda Morin is author of The Everything Kids' Learning Activities Book, a former teacher/early intervention specialist and mother of three. She is the writer and editor for About.com’s Kids’ Learning Activities site, a regular contributor to PopSugar Moms and her parenting articles have been featured on Education.com and ModernMom.com, among other sites. Amanda knows that hands-on, fun activities are the best way to promote learning and wants to provide parents with the information they need to find products that promote fun learning.

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