The learning disability of mathematics in young students is called dyscalculia. Dyscalculia isn’t a disease. And it can occur across any IQ level in children. The solution to it is encouraging the child, helping him solve problems and keep on giving the child mathematical challenges until the learning barrier is overcome. Many children decide at a very young age that mathematics isn’t for them, it usually is because mathematical concepts have not been taught in a way that appeals to them. This also happens because external factors like media, cartoons or grown-ups around them have said that mathematics is hard and children internalize it. The way to fix challenges faced by students is first to identify the problem they are having and fix it through fun learning, encouragement, and testing.
1. Children believe mathematics to be just hard:
Many young children believe that mathematics isn’t for them. Especially young girls. There is a common misconception among people that mathematics is something very difficult and is for brilliant and genius people only. Children believe these myths and misconceptions. We have to make sure that we don’t expose children to these biases. More importantly, we have to teach children that you are not born a mathematical genius, instead, you become one through hard work. Make mathematics fun for them and get them excited about it. This can be done if the instructors themselves show enthusiasm and excitement and it will catch up to the students as well.
2. Learning disabilities:
Some kids are just not good at understanding mathematics. They have problems with addition, subtraction, reading and writing numbers, recalling numbers, counting backward or with abstract concepts like time and direction. This doesn’t happen because the kids are stupid. It is usually because their brains are differently wired. However, with persistent assistance, the child can overcome these issues. Get your child special maths tutoring, having extra help is necessary for a child going through learning problems. Many programs are offered these days that are tailored according to your child’s specific needs. Getting extra help and push will help the kid overcome the learning disability and achieve his/her class goals.
3. Make mathematical concepts relatable:
Children have trouble understanding abstract concepts. They are young and their experiences and maturity aren’t evolved enough to understand things that they can’t see or touch. Some children are good at rote so they just learn what is being taught to them as it is. But other children question these things and have a hard time understanding them. To cater to all the children the instructor should come up with relatable examples for the children to understand the idea. Join the intangible idea with something tangible and the child will remember it, or join a story with the concept and the kid will surely remember it.
Make learning mathematics for the children fun and games. Many children like English because it has storytelling in it, the subject itself isn’t any more loved by them than mathematics.
4. Mathematics is a progressive subject:
Mathematics is a sort of subject that builds upon the concepts learned in an orderly manner. The child needs to know how to read numbers, then understand their ascending order, after that the descending order, they need to learn how to count backward and after that comes addition and so on. Parents and teachers have to keep an eye on the child and see that all his concepts are being properly developed and learned. If the child has to learn a concept suppose “X” in September and a concept “Y” in December and a concept “Z” in March, but if the child hasn’t understood the concept “X” there is no way he/she would be able to understand “Y” and “Z”. The basic concepts must be taught and cleared before new ones are built upon them.
5. Teachers and parents attitude isn’t conductive:
Mathematics is regarded as a very important subject by parents. Many people compare their child’s learning ability according to his/her performance in mathematics. Which can be very discouraging for the child instead of motivating. Also, it is quite untrue. Every child’s abilities vary from one another and hence their ability to perform in different subjects accordingly. Teachers need to keep a positive attitude, they should not ignore or shut down children who have difficulty understanding certain concepts that other children pick very quickly. Teachers should never be overly critical or harsh on slow learners, it further impairs their learning ability and discourages them.
What we have understood so far is that if a child is good or bad at mathematics it simply is that child’s affinity and aptitude for mathematics. A child can be taught to be better at mathematics if he/she lacks in it. To improve in the subject has much more to do with the external factors than an internal one. Being bad at mathematics isn’t a disease it’s a lack of certain learning abilities that can be easily be built and improved. The important factor is that the problem should be identified and quickly dealt with constructively. As mathematics is a subject that relies heavily on basic concepts, so it’s important that the effort is put in the beginning stages or the student will have a very hard time in later stages.