Getting Rid of MATH FEAR!
By Rochelle C. P.
Picture this: you’re doing prep for a socially distanced surprise birthday party for your best friend, and you’re in charge of the birthday cake. You want to make everything from scratch because that’s how you love your best friend, and besides, it will be cheaper since your mom has all the ingredients ready in the kitchen because she bakes regularly anyway. All you need is a set of hands that’s your own. As you start to go through the recipe, you find out that you’re missing a set of measuring cups and you’re stuck with just one. The recipe calls for 1/3 of a full cup of brown sugar. You find yourself stunned. What is 1/3 of a full cup anyway?
We don’t realize it, but math is everywhere in our daily lives. Whether we are paying with cash at the convenience store or giving a tip at a restaurant, there will always be a need to compute numbers in our head. You certainly don’t want to reach for your phone to use the calculator app after you handed the cashier a good ol’ $20 bill for a $1.89 worth of Oh Henry chocolate bar. Math will always be a part of us, so why do some people feel the need to run away from it?
The fear of math is actually not uncommon. A study revealed that at least 20% of the general population have an aversion to numbers. Here are a few tips to overcome math anxiety:
Admit there is a problem.
Like with any other problem, the first step to finding a solution is acknowledging the problem. If you find yourself getting anxious when you’re about to do a math homework, take a breather and try to understand what’s going on, instead of putting the task off or evading it altogether. It’s common to feel pressure to do good especially for such an important subject, but you won’t get anywhere if you keep trying to escape from it instead of facing it.
Seek out help.
Having trouble in math is normal, and a good way to get you started in learning math is having a study buddy or being in a study group. Seek out help from a member of a math club in your school, and they will most likely be ready to help you out in learning math. Since they are passionate about the subject, they’ll lend a hand and who knows, you might discover a hidden passion for numbers too!
Define your learning style.
People have different ways of learning, and this goes for learning math too. If you’re more of a visual learner, then have as much visual tools handy as you can. For example, if you’re learning about fractions, measuring cups showing the measurements can help you visualize fractions better. If you’re learning about percentages, ask someone to take you window shopping. Calculating discount percentages in sale items can truly help you, and in a short time, you’ll know how to know what 60% is of a $88-priced item.
Make suggestions to your teachers.
Whether your class is online or in-class, maintain an open communication with your math teacher. For sure, they will appreciate suggestions and recommendations on what will help you learn math better. Especially these COVID times when there are learning challenges, it’s always good to share ideas to make the learning experience worthwhile.