What is “math anxiety”? Can it be overcome?

Yes, math anxiety can be overcome. But it is often not a simple “quick fix”.  And “catch-up lesson practice” means extra time and effort.

With math anxiety students get repeatedly lost in understanding new (or prior) concepts, don’t remember their use of skills once “learned” and then become frustrated by repeatedly encountering situations of “never getting it”.

This high frustration sadly often leads to resignation and then failure to remedy it.  As a result students forego future academic options leading to lucrative careers. Difficulties in math studies are often due to accepting myths on effective learning and the inability to get “quick fixes”,

Math anxiety arises when lessons are not really mastered, when they are not properly integrated with prior knowledge or when there isn’t sufficient review and/or re-learning for long term retention. Prevention of math anxiety thus requires ensuring that current lessons are really understood, that there is integration with prior knowledge and that there is sufficient review and reteaching for long term retention.

To overcome math anxiety students need to “catch-up”: to acknowledge the need to ask for help; to learn sound study habits; and then, devote needed time and effort to relearn (and then reinforce) lessons through EXTRA specially-guided daily math practice.

To overcome math anxiety we design personalized lessons that:

Diagnose for gaps in understanding and missing skills

Teach sound study habits

Identify & reduce student anxiety in specific areas

Determine comfortable starting points for relearning and review

Reteach lessons for understanding

Increase self-confidence by doing simple tasks very well.

We encourage and support students in making these small but sure daily progress during catch-up.  The goal at every step always is correct understanding, fluency in applying skills and increasing confidence in needed recall.

One website that helps with practicing  grade-specific skills (and reporting progress in practice) is at www.ixl.com.  Many of our lesson materials are keyed to practicing these skills – once  associated with appropriate math curriculum standards.