Tips for Moving your Child from “I Can’t Do Math” to “Bring it On!”
By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching
“I’m just no good at Math.”
As a parent, how many times have you heard that? And it’s so frustrating to see your child feel hopeless about such an important subject. But there is hope.
One of my biggest sayings to my daughters and my students is, “It’s never IF you can learn something. It’s HOW you can learn it.” No two brains are alike, so we must discover “How” they learn. Students who wonder “If” they can learn end up confused, uncertain and afraid.
Just like many of my students, I had to really work to discover my “How.” I worked hard to master the art of studying and test-taking and to overcome the fear of failure and defeat. Students having trouble with a subject don’t always adopt these skills.
Tell your student not to give up, just providing them with the right studying and test-taking skills will make a huge difference.
According to research conducted in Germany, students who have strong study habits and are motivated showed more growth in Math achievement than students who had higher IQs.
The study, conducted at the University of Munich and the University of Bielefeld, looked at 5th through 10th graders over a five-year period.
“Our study suggests that students’ competencies to learn in Math involve factors that can be nurtured by education,” explained research Kou Murayama. “Educational programs focusing on students’ motivation and study skills could be an important way to advance their competency in Math as well as in other subjects.”
Miracle Math specializes in nurturing students to perform better, often using many little-known study techniques that have led to higher grades. Here are three tips:
- Use a timer. Allotting 15 or 20 minutes to a reading assignment or a section of homework sheets will keep them focused. When the timer bings, have them get up and stretch or do jumping jacks. Or, you can use the timer to challenge them, ie see how many math problems they can complete in 10 minutes.
- Encourage them to work on the most challenging assignments first. The hardest subjects to study require the most effort. When they first sit down to do homework, they’ll have the most mental energy to tackle these assignments.
- Have them say stuff out loud. Repeating the material they’re learning out loud will help them remember it.
The second key to success, according to the German study, is motivation. And how do you motivate kids who believe they can’t do the work? Help them write their own positive mantra about themselves and their success and have them speak it first thing in the morning each day. I do this with all my daughters, and it’s amazing how their self doubt has decreased. Although we do have challenges and moments they feel frustrated, at least now we have words we can speak to lift ourselves back up.
And praise their effort!
In fact, a separate study detailed in the Journal for Personality and Social Psychology shows the power of that strategy. According to the research, encouraging students by praising their effort makes them eager to take on even more challenging tasks. Compared to students praised for their intelligence, those praised for hard work were more likely to keep trying after a failure and less likely to lie about their performance.
Motivation and empowerment are important tools that Miracle Math Coaching uses to help students improve their school performance.
Try to keep your child from being discouraged. And when you’re unable to provide your student the help you know they deserve, reach out and give me a buzz at (707) 398-3474. You can also find out more about how to help your student by calling our Miracle Math support team at the same number.
And many parents and student just like you have learned so much from our FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation Click here to sign up now.
Miracle Math provides brain-based academic coaching that closes all past learning gaps, improves current learning performance and equips students with tools to understand how their brain works. Come join in and be assured that you’re making the right decision for your student’s future!