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Boston Tutoring Helps: Studies Show Math Tutoring Reduces Anxiety in Kids


Does math homework cause stress in your household? Is your child avoiding studying math or seem anxious about his or her math lessons? Does he or she know how to complete math problems but perform poorly on math tests?

You should know that these reactions are not uncommon, and that Boston tutoring helps.

Approximately half of all adults in the United States suffer from some level of math anxiety.  Even students that excel at math feel anxious about solving math problems. If recognized, these anxieties can be eliminated. The key is to take action early, to ensure that math anxieties don’t get in your child’s way on his or her path to success.

The Consequences of Math Anxiety

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience noted that childhood math anxiety can have life-long implications for students. Those who develop math anxiety in the elementary years may subsequently avoid exposure to math-focused subjects. This early math aversion reduces the likelihood of these students pursuing STEM-based careers later in life.

Math anxiety can also prevent a student from achieving his or her best on math tests and exams. As Professor Mark Ashcraft of Cleveland State University explains, “Math anxiety disrupts cognitive processing by compromising ongoing activity in working memory.” Put simply, when a student is anxious about performing on a math test, he or she can’t think.

Of course, the consequences of freezing up on a math test can be devastating to a child personally and academically. His or her time and effort spent studying fail to reap rewards.  This lack of benefit may lead to frustration and disappointment that makes his or her anxiety worse.

Additionally, the pressure of high stakes admission tests such as the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) may trigger math anxieties. When this occurs, the anxiety itself and not the child’s ability may prevent him or her from gaining a highly sought place. Later math anxiety may prevent a student from entering upper-level math courses or performing well on college admissions test.

Fortunately, research demonstrates that math tutoring can help students to overcome their math anxieties and achieve their full potential.

Overcoming Math Anxiety

Overcoming math anxiety involves both practical and therapeutic measures. The tutors at Third Space Mentors come alongside your child and provide the support necessary to help him or her end math anxiety and excel.

Filling Knowledge Gaps

First, though most students can eventually master math, not all do so easily. However, mathematical knowledge is cumulative. Each new skill builds upon past skills. If a child struggles at any point along the way, he or she can quickly fall behind. Without a clear understanding of each concept, even the brightest student can become lost.

Moreover, not every student learns in the same way. Sometimes all it takes is a different explanation or approach to help a student regain her or his bearings. But, that type of one on one instruction is difficult to come by in a crowded classroom. Our math tutors can assist your child to overcome any gaps in knowledge so that he or she can keep up with classroom assignments and excel.

Through testing and observation, your child’s tutor can identify the best methods for teaching him or her new math concepts. Ongoing review of past mathematical principles paired with guided practice will help your child to retain the facts he or she needs to know to progress smoothly through each math course.

Providing a Safe Math Space

Next, our tutoring facility and staff will provide a safe setting for your child to overcome math anxieties. Studies of math anxiety demonstrate that practices such as exposure therapy can reduce children’s math anxiety. Similar to treating any other phobia, children can be slowly introduced to situations that require math computation skills.

Solving math problems with a trusted mentor by his or her side helps your child overcome math fears. Your child’s math tutor will create a comforting and safe place to face the math monsters lurking in the shadows of your child’s mind and defeat them. Over time, your child will gain confidence and overcome his or her fears.

This exposure method doesn’t just teach your child how to cope with math anxiety but eliminates it.

Developing Higher Order Thinking

Beginning in the earliest grades, your child will memorize basic math facts in order to speed the processing of more difficult math problems in the future. But mathematics is so much more than just the facts.

Higher mathematics combines the performance of basic computations with critical thinking. Unfortunately, there isn’t always enough time for teachers to help students develop deeper mathematical understanding in the classroom. A tutor can guide your child in the development of both of these skills.

Critical mathematical thinking requires the ability to identify, evaluate and solve problems. These higher order thinking skills will serve your child not only in school but throughout his or her life.

Math’s ability to teach students how to analyze their world in an ordered manner is why even for the non-STEM student, learning math remains important.

Honing Test Taking Skills

Math tests, particular the timed variety, can induce anxiety in even the most stalwart of students. This is particularly true as testing has become increasingly important to both students and teachers. Most tests follow similar formats. Becoming familiar with test questions and the best way deal with uncertainty when answering them will help your child to relax and excel.

A personal math tutor can teach your child essential test-taking skills to help them navigate the flood of tests that they will face each year.

Keeping the Doors Open: Boston Tutoring Helps

Parents want the best for their children. But, time is a limited commodity. Time spent on one activity eliminates the possibility of another. Each choice now has an impact on the future.

Math anxiety unresolved in elementary and middle school can to closed doors in high school and beyond. Finding a tutor to mentor your child past early anxieties keeps those doors open.

So, if the sight of math homework or a math test on the schedule makes you and your child cringe, get in touch. Our tutoring site is a welcoming and safe space for your child to work through his or her anxieties.

Our doors are open.