When french mathematician Laurent Schwartz was in High school, he started to worry that he wasn’t smart enough to solve math problems. Still, he went on to win Fields Medal, the highest award in mathematics.
Some students have a similar feeling. They sit down to take math tests and feel their heart beating faster and butterflies in their stomach. It may be happening with your students too.
There are many reasons why a child may struggle with his/her self confidence. It happens more often in subjects like mathematics which are generally considered to be brainy and tough.
Why is Self-confidence Important?
In today’s world, there is no place for those who lack self-confidence. Self-confident people can judge their position in any environment, be it their schools, workplaces, or the community where they live.
They use confidence as a ladder to improve their position and excel in whatever they do.
People can grow and succeed only if they live in a positive atmosphere where they receive constructive feedback.
However, if people live in a demotivating environment where they are constantly compared to others, never rewarded for their efforts, and seldom encouraged to do something outstanding, their self-confidence is hampered.
Children are our future, so it is imperative to educate them well and guide them on the right path.
- Every child must be helped to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
- Children should be taught to speak confidently and with dignity.
- Children should learn to be honest with themselves and others.
- Children need to develop a positive outlook on life.
- It is essential to make them believe that they can improvise themselves in order to achieve the things they want, faster and easier, thereby enjoying life.
Why Do Children Struggle with Math Confidence?
Struggling with maths can affect a child’s overall self-esteem and social life. Maths anxiety causes poor Maths performance and also evokes maths anxiety.
Without a strong mathematical foundation, students experience maths failures and it embarrasses them.
It has been observed that generally, students develop a negative attitude towards Math from their family members or peers who have fear of Math.
Students may also dislike the subject if they have insensitive maths teachers. If children find an answer to their ‘why’ and ‘how’ related to various mathematical concepts, they develop a proper conceptual understanding of the subject.
Developing a mathematical mindset is critical for every child. Solving any real-life problems requires an analytical and mathematical mindset which in turn will set up a child for lifelong success.
What makes maths difficult for children?
When we start maths with children it is a very visual process – 1 block equals the number 1 If I have 5 apples and I take 3 away how many will I have, and the principles are good, but what if the child never really understands that the number 1 actually equals 1 unit! As they move through their maths they will remember their number bonds but this basic understanding of the value of the number remains unsecured. As long as a child stays in KS1 and KS2 the maths is pretty visual and the child can make an attempt at it, but when it comes to their times tables this is where we can see the first real evidence that the number itself has no meaning. When education relied on rote learning there was less obvious evidence of this, but in todays mapped out exploratory learning pathways, understanding the meaning of numbers is critical.
If a child is showing cracks in their maths early on in primary school then when they get to year 6 and moving into year 7 we will really see maths becoming a major problem as maths moves away from any visualization at this point. Have you ever looked at your child’s maths to see if they really understand the difference between hundreds, tens and units?
If they are showing signs of struggling with maths now, it is really important to implement intervention early before they lose their confidence and becoming good at maths slips out of their grasp. Out of all the subjects a child studies maths is actually the easiest as it is always right or wrong, it has a set of clear rules to reach the answer and is never subjective.
Mathematical proficiency has five strands:
- Understanding: Comprehending mathematical concepts, operations, and relations—knowing what mathematical symbols, diagrams, and procedures mean.
- Computing: Carrying out mathematical procedures, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately.
- Applying: Being able to formulate problems mathematically and to devise strategies for solving them using concepts and procedures appropriately.
- Reasoning: Using logic to explain and justify a solution to a problem or to extend from something known to something not yet known.
- Engaging: Seeing mathematics as sensible, useful, and doable—if you work at it—and being willing to do the work.
The most important feature of mathematical proficiency is that these five strands are interwoven and interdependent.
If your child is struggling with their maths, speak to us to support them now. Our team has really made a difference to so many children in achieving maths proficiency.