5 elements for Building  self confidence in Math

Before we dive into practice it is important to remember that not everyone is born to be a doctor of mathematics, but anyone can succeed in school mathematics.

Fear of math is common among many students. It’s a real shame because self-confidence in math = 90% of the success factors. 

2 concept that you should be familiar with

self-fulfilling prophecy – A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that becomes true, primarily because of an individual’s belief or expectation that it will come true, which consequently influences their actions. This principle suggests that people’s beliefs guide their behaviors, and the outcomes they create stem from their pre-existing perceptions of a given situation or subject

Pygmalion effect – the Pygmalion effect is a phenomenon where people tend to perform according to the expectations that others have of them. In other words, if someone believes that you are capable of doing something, you are more likely to actually do it.

The Pygmalion effect is a powerful force that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. It is important to be aware of this effect and to use it in a positive way. When we have positive expectations for others, we can help them to achieve their full potential.

Just before diving into practice

This article discusses ways to enable healthy self-belief in our children. But before that it is important that we stop for a moment and ask ourselves if we believe 100% in their ability to succeed in the field. It is important that we be honest with ourselves, give up judgment and just observe. If we find doubt about their ability to succeed, it is important that we look for a way to change it. The only way I can help you with this is to tell you that I have privately taught hundreds of students who thought they were not talented and others didn’t believe in them either, students who were diagnosed with dyscalculia, all without exception succeeded and got A’s on the tests.

5 elements for building self-confidence in mathematics

  1. start as early as possible
  2. Improve arithmetic agility
  3. Start from the child’s current stage
  4. moving forward step by step
  5. Combine the child’s strengths

start as early as possible

Children (people) do not wait years to decide what their attitude is to a certain subject and to evaluate their abilities. Children feel insecure in mathematics already from the second grade and even from the first grade. As time passes the insecurity will increase and become a psychological barrier. This starts a vicious circle where insecurity prevents understanding and success and it strengthens the psychological barrier and God forbid. That is why it is better to help them develop a sense of competence and self-confidence in mathematics from the moment they start studying mathematics

Improve arithmetic agility

Imagine a child in grade 1, 2 who answers quickly without hesitation the following exercises 5+7, 6+8 12-4, 16-7… There is no doubt that he will feel ‘cannon’ and his environment will also treat him that way. Same at a later age with the multiplication table. And after that with the ability to divide and calculate more complex exercises in the head like 111-33 27×7…

Mastering the basic facts (addition/subtraction up to 18, the multiplication table) is essential for a sense of competence and the ability to learn and understand new concepts. Mathematics up to seventh grade is mainly the ability to solve exercises. Good ability in the basic facts and the ability to calculate exercises in your head is the key to success.

What is beautiful is that, like physical fitness, anyone can train and achieve good results

Start from the child’s current stage

I used to teach a girl at the beginning of the year in sixth grade. When I started working with her, she had difficulty solving exercises up to 10. You understand that I did not start teaching her fractions and percentages. We just went step by step, adding up to 10, up to 20, subtracting, multiplying, dividing… until we achieved success in the sixth grade material 🙂

If your child is in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or higher grades and his arithmetic ability is still not satisfactory, it is critical that he practice until he achieves good results. Even if it comes at the expense of progress in the study material

Moving forward step by step

It’s so clear that you can’t skip steps, I don’t have much to update here

  • Addition and subtraction up to 10
  • Addition and subtraction up to 20
  • The concept of multiplication – 5X5
  • The concept of division – 12:3
  • Subtraction addition up to 100 (calculate in the head, don’t use column addition!!!)
  • Multiplication table
  • Division exercises
  • Calculation in the head of more complex exercises
  • Numbers in the million range
  • fractions

Combine the child’s strengths

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to spend a lot of time on subjects or activities in which I am weak. Apparently neither does your child.

I can tell you that as a private math tutor who got paid to teach. Around 25% of the class time was spent playing with the child the games he excels at, or listening and watching things he is interested in. This is what made my students achieve amazing results

Remember that your child is dealing with his own weak points. Do not forget at the same time to enhance and bring to light his strengths

Every child can succeed in math

Every child deserves to succeed in math

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