How to Help Your Child Tackle Math Anxiety

August 4, 2021
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Guest Author

This post is sponsored by Kumon.

Math can be one of those subjects in school that someone believes they are either great or not-so-great at understanding. Those who struggle may be taking longer than others on work, aren’t able to solve assignments on their own, or are unable to complete tests. When they’re not a natural, and feel that it’s something they should be understanding in order to succeed, this can lead to feelings of anxiety.

When a student feels anxious about math, they are quick to doubt their abilities and in turn avoid doing it. Math anxiety can start from the first-time math is introduced if someone doesn’t feel confident in their abilities. There are a variety of ways that you can help your child work through and overcome their math anxiety. Having a positive attitude towards math and your child’s ability to improve can help them feel more confident. Here are six tips to help your child with math anxiety.

Help them reframe their fixed mindset into a growth mindset

You may have heard your child say, “I hate math” or “I’m terrible at math, I don’t want to do it!” While it’s common for a student to think they’re terrible at math based on performance and their comfort level, remaining positive is imperative to their success. Repeatedly expressing negativity towards math can hinder their desire to improve and ultimately lead to them believing it’s just something they will never know how to be good at.

Instead, help your child with their growth mindset by having them think more positively and encouraging them to see that hard work combined with perseverance can lead to improved abilities. Thinking that “I can do it” versus “I’m not good at math” will help them feel more confident to work through it instead of not trying at all. Practicing leads to more learning opportunities and the possibility to develop their skills.

Enroll them in a supplemental math program

Math anxiety may often occur because a student didn’t master foundational math skills making it incredibly difficult to learn more advanced math concepts. Getting help early to identify where the gaps in grasping concepts began and getting them back on track to understand the fundamentals can be a huge help for your child’s math abilities.

The Kumon Math Program is beneficial for a student struggling with math because the student will begin at a spot that is a comfortable starting place. Each student has different abilities and starting where your child is comfortable can help them build their knowledge at their own pace. They will practice regularly for 30 minutes per day which helps them to understand and retain knowledge. With consistent practice, students often can get on track which in turn builds their confidence in math and can often lead to them studying above grade level!

Praise their efforts

Praising your child’s efforts can help them see that trying to solve the problem may not happen on the first try. It can be stressful to not solve a problem or to give the wrong answers, but the process of how they attempted to get there is important to understand where they may have gotten off track and how to figure it out from there. When you praise their efforts, they may feel more comfortable to try solving problems and ultimately learn how to teach themselves when they go back and check their work.

Play math games

In addition to the Kumon Math Program, you can help your child practice math concepts daily. Math can be intimidating for those who don’t enjoy it or feel that they’ll never understand how to do certain problems. Playing math games that add an element of fun while still testing their abilities can take a more relaxed approach to practice math concepts. Games will not only allow them to feel more comfortable with certain math concepts, but they can help them improve their skills.

Also, you can work on creating a fun math game with your child including concepts they find challenging. Creating a game can be a great way for them to be motivated to play something that they spent time making. It can be a game you play together as a family or one your child is excited to play with friends. This can help them feel more excited about math as they work through the game they created.

Add math into your daily routine

Math is a part of our daily routines as adults, from calculating budgets to making a recipe. Incorporating math into your child’s daily routine can happen seamlessly and be an encouraging way for your child to think about math in different ways. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as prompting them with questions, discussing components of math that relate to a certain task, sorting and counting items around the house, or just about anything! Making math relatable and applying it to real-life scenarios can show how useful it is to know and why it’s important to continue studying to develop their skills.

Discuss the importance of time management

Another component of your family’s daily routine can be discussing the importance of time management in your homeschool routine, extracurriculars, and even family activities. By doing so you can teach time, schedules, and planning in advance, while instilling confidence in your child as they see the effects of being prepared.

One way to instill time management skills is by enrolling in the Kumon Program. The consistent daily practice for 30 minutes a day can be fit into your homeschool routine and the structure of the worksheets offers students the ability to practice concepts on their own.

The Takeaway

Math anxiety can lead to students avoiding math work altogether and doubting their ability to improve their skills. Since every child has varying abilities, not every approach will work the same. Trying different tactics and working on developing your child’s math skills can help them tackle math anxiety and become more confident learners. Learn more about how Kumon can help build your child’s math skills and confidence!


The Kumon Math and Reading Program helps kids in preschool through high school develop strong math, reading, and writing skills. Lesson plans are individualized for each child, which allows them to advance at their own pace and fully master math and reading concepts. Combine Kumon with your homeschooling and help your child reach their maximum potential.


Additional Homeschool Resources

Tips for Supplementing Your Homeschool Program

8 Fun Ways to Teach Math

How to Motivate Your Student to Study Math