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Dear Moms of Maths Maters,
I am very happy to meet you here right now. You are not alone. I am writing to you as we have the same fate to be a mom of math haters. I think I can share some things and let's encourage each other.
Math has been my favorite lesson since I was at school. I always got the best score at school. Unfortunately, I am broken hearted when I know that a child of mine is a math hater. I am sure that it is very challenging and tempting to get the math haters start to love math.
I wonder if they have the same symptoms. Here are some of the symptoms my son showed when it came to the math lessons:
- There are a lot of excuses to make to get out of the study room or the table. After each number, he will say, “I want to go to the toilet.” Another number, he will ask an excuse to get some drink, and so on. The worst thing is when I have to call him back to the room.
- He will look desperate answering the questions and he just wait for me helping him answer the questions.
- While he was waiting for me, he will usually draw or doodling on his book.
- His maths books are never clean. There are usually some folded pages or some pages with holes.
- A huge celebration will be performed once the maths lessons finished.
- He will easily get stomachache when the maths lessons start.
- He would be nervous when I asked him to purchase something in the daily store. He would be busy counting the amount of change rather than remembering the items he should purchase.
What about yours?
In the early year homeschooling the math hater, my patience was really trained. I got so nervous too when it came to the math lessons. Here are some questions I often wondered about my math hater.
- Could I control my patience toward this child?
- What would happen with the child in the future?
- Could he participate in the exams?
- Could he survive the real life without any math?
- What should I do to make him fluent in the basic math?
- Would they never be able to learn math?
I have tried some ways to help him in maths, started from the classical drill, the hands-on activities to the online games during his basic levels. There is only one thing that works very well for him: the Reflex Math that build his fluency in the basic calculation. I was very thankful that he could be fluent in multiplication and division when it was almost the time for the exam. He was 11 years old at that time.
Now he is in the 7th grade academically and his math still can catch up the normal 7th graders. He can do algebra! It is a wonderful progress for him considering how reluctant he has been learning maths. When people ask me what makes him go through the maths until this level, I really don't have any exact answer or recipe, for honest.
However, I can learn from him, the math-hater, some lessons that might work for other moms of a math-hater:
- When it is the time for him, he is going to be ready. I think he has had late readiness in maths. He is not the same with others so that he needs special patience in learning. It is useless to be angry with him when he even doesn't understand why we are angry.
- I won't just wait until he is ready to start with maths. He might not be ready until he is in the university. Maths needs a lot of practice. With the practice we can try to make him interested. Even if he is not interested, he still has to do it. Therefore, I just keep on going while I am still trying to find the “formula” on how to help him.
- Sometimes I would like to get my eldest son to teach him. Who knows that he can understand his brother better than his mother.
- I would never let him doing maths without any of my supervision. I tried to leave him once and the result was very terrible. I got angry when I found him being sloppy.
- It takes very long time to get him independent in doing maths assignment, but he always can finish it well.
- I found that my math-hater was not confident in doing maths. It was obvious that he was actually capable in doing maths, but he was just lack of confidence at all. If you have a math-hater, you might try to “test” if he has a problem of lack of confidence.
- My math-hater is very good in following procedures of solving the maths problem. Therefore, more practice with the similar methods to do will make him more familiar with maths in certain topic step by step. From being familiar, he will build up his confidence.
How do you deal with your math-haters? I hope that you can share yours by writing some comments bellow. I am looking for hearing from you soon. Have a great and nice day!
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