Math Anxiety? Solved. How Tutoring Can Be Leveraged To Help Your Child Move From Fear To Fortitude.

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Math Anxiety? Solved. How Tutoring Can Be Leveraged To Help Your Child Move From Fear To Fortitude.

Students often experience performance anxiety and general stress in Math class. . Whether a student is struggling with their basic skills or needs time to slow down in order to grasp new concepts, working with a tutor can make a huge difference in their attitude towards math class. Working with a tutor is a great way to help your child move from fear to fortitude. 

Some students are naturally gifted in solving math problems, and others need to spend much more time studying, practicing, and analyzing new skills, formulas, and processes to succeed. If your child’s math experience in math class is defined by anxious feelings, doubt, and fear, finding the right support system is crucial. Working with a tutor can provide students with the confidence to continue honing their skills. 

While it’s normal to feel a little nervous before taking a math test or exam, it’s a different issue if that fear becomes debilitating. In this case, the fear of doing math can become so overwhelming that it interferes with the student’s ability to learn and do their best. If you find that your student is consistently struggling in math despite having adequate time to prepare, it could be that they have a case of math anxiety. If you think your student might have math anxiety, finding the right support system will make a huge difference in gaining confidence while learning and practicing math. 

In this article, we will discuss how anxiety impacts performance, how tutors can minimize fear in math class, and how to find a good math tutor.

How Does Anxiety Impact Performance?

Anxiety and stress impact performance in a wide variety of ways. For some people, a stressful situation launches them into action, but for others, stress causes a fight or flight response that hinders their performance. Some people freeze under stressful conditions. If math class causes these kinds of reactions in a student, they can benefit from the confidence, tools, and skills that tutoring can provide. Anxiety may cause students to feel discouraged, which results in avoiding the subject altogether. Anxiety and fear also harm students and impede their ability to absorb information, think critically, problem-solve, and focus.

  1. Anxiety is Discouraging

    When a task causes anxiety or fear, a common response is avoidance and procrastination. Even students who are gifted in math class are less likely to pursue careers in mathematical fields if their experience in the classroom is surrounded by stress. Performance anxiety may deter students from completing tasks and putting in their best effort. Do not let fear hinder participation and success! If you find your child’s skills and talents are overshadowed by pressure and fear, it is a good idea to evaluate their goals and seek support outside of the classroom to ensure they reach their academic potential. Anxiety is discouraging, so whether a student is seeking to improve their skills or improve their experience as a math student, tools to build up confidence and ease fears are important!

  2. Anxiety Impacts The Brain’s Ability To Absorb Information

    In the classroom, some students find that their stress and fear limit their ability to absorb information. When your brain is in fight or flight mode, it can be difficult to retain material. In fact, fear and stress have been proven to have a direct negative impact on short and long-term memory. Students who experience math anxiety may struggle to absorb information or recall what they have learned. If your student is struggling in math class, finding ways to deal with the fear can make a huge difference in their ability to retain and recall information. Students who consider themselves to be poor math students may realize that their poor memory is caused by fear. This discovery can make a huge difference in a student’s learning experience! Improving memory by minimizing fear can make a huge difference in your child’s math grades.

  3. Fear Affects Your Ability To Think Critically And Problem Solve

    In math class, critical thinking and problem-solving drive success, but when we are stressed, it is more difficult to think critically and problem-solve. One of the biggest issues caused by math anxiety is that it affects these skills. When a student is stressed out and anxious, they may find themselves less likely to think clearly in class. Math anxiety and fear may be halting your student’s natural skills and interfering with their strengths. This fear factor impacts the major skills needed to break problems down and solve them. In fact, students may feel so overwhelmed by fear-driven emotions in math class that they throw up their hands and say, “I can’t do this.” Some people even give up on math entirely and decide it isn’t worth the stress. If your student wants to improve their problem-solving skills, consider if fear is distracting them from basic critical thinking skills.

  4. Fear Harms A Student’s Ability To Focus And Stay On Task

    When we are stressed, our bodies produce a chemical called cortisol. While cortisol is helpful in small amounts, high levels of this chemical can make it more difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Because of this stress chemical, students who suffer from math anxiety may have a more difficult time staying on task and may struggle to perform as a result.

    When we are stressed, it becomes more difficult to concentrate, organize our thoughts, and make sense of information. In class, this kind of stress can make it difficult to pay attention to lectures, explanations, and discussions. A lack of focus in class that leads students to miss information can have immediate negative repercussions when sitting down to complete homework assignments. To help students set themselves up for success, tutors can help drive away math anxiety that impacts students’ ability to focus.

    When students are stressed in the classroom, they may find that their attention is immediately focused on their negative emotions rather than the teacher. This stress can make it more difficult to focus on learning, making it likely that they will see a decline in their performance. Focus is important working independently as well: if a student is unable to focus while studying or working on math problems, they will find that their work takes them much longer. To improve a student’s learning experience and solving skills, evaluating their focus is crucial! A tutor can help your student learn how to refocus by minimizing stress and fear.

How Can Tutors Minimize Math Anxiety?

There are many different ways tutors can help students overcome their math anxiety. Students experiencing all of the setbacks listed above should not feel hopeless in their math careers! Tutors offer skills, strategies, and perspectives to set your student on track for fearless learning. Simplifying concepts, making math fun, providing positive feedback, and offering valuable experience can make a huge difference in a student’s attitude toward math class.  Consider how a tutor can minimize math anxiety.

  1. Breaking Down Math Concepts: Simplify!

    Understanding the big picture of a concept is helpful, but it’s also important to understand the functions, applications, and steps that math students need to know how to use. A tutor can help you break down math concepts into simpler steps so students don’t feel overwhelmed by the subject as a whole. A tutor can help students highlight strengths that have a wide variety of applications. They can also help students break a problem down into more manageable steps. If your child is struggling with math anxiety, find a tutor that makes the subject approachable by simplifying.

  2. Make Math Fun

    Math can be enjoyable! It does not have to be something that makes students break out into a cold sweat. As we have discussed, math anxiety only hinders a student’s success. Making math fun will improve students’ focus, critical thinking, problem-solving, motivation, and memory. Some tutors can make math fun by using games, graphics, or study tools to make the subject more approachable.

  3. Provide Positive Feedback

    Tracking progress and assessing improvements is a huge confidence boost that students working without a tutor miss out on. A math tutor can help your child understand what they’ve learned and give positive feedback so students feel confident in their abilities. Celebrating successes and acknowledging hard work will contribute to a less stressful learning environment where students thrive.

  4. Reduce Test Anxiety

    For some students, their fear of math peaks when taking math tests. Math tests don’t have to be scary! Your tutor can help you prepare for exams and reduce your test anxiety so you feel confident going into the assessment. Providing testing strategies, study skills, and lots of practice work can help students walk into exams feeling confident and prepared.

  5. Gain Valuable Experience

    A large factor for many students’ confidence is experience. By working with a tutor, students can gain positive experiences in problem-solving and navigating weaknesses. Gaining familiarity with different kinds of challenges can help your child move from fear to fortitude. Tutors’ support and encouragement plays a huge role in boosting students’ confidence as well!

Finding A Good Math Tutor

Finding a good math tutor is the first step in resolving your student’s math anxiety. If your student wants to moderate their fear, then building up their skills and potential for success requires support. A good math tutor will evaluate your child and identify skills they are struggling to apply. The tutor will also help your child understand how to solve problems through step-by-step explanations. Sometimes offering a new perspective or insight can make a huge difference for students working through more conceptual math problems. A great math tutor may offer real-world examples that make math formulas easier to understand. They may also help students identify common errors to avoid or lead an investigation into the concepts or skills that your student is struggling to understand. 

Finding a good math tutor will give your student the time and support they need from a customized learning experience. The first step in finding the best tutor for your student is to identify your child’s goals while learning math. Do they want to pass a test or course, or do they want to make math their career? Once they have determined their end goal, it’s easier to narrow down the kind of math tutor that suits their needs. 

Working with a Tutorly tutor puts students in the position to feel confident, prepared, and skilled enough to walk into math classes and exams without fear. Our tutors are experienced, highly trained, and empathetic towards their student’s goals, fears, and experiences. Math anxiety can happen to any kind of math student. Capabilities and strengths are hindered by stress chemicals in the brain, and moderating these factors in a student’s learning experience can make a huge difference in their success. To find the perfect tutor for your student, consider how Tutorly’s one-on-one customized tutor sessions can set your student on the path to success.

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