Not all kids in school like math. I had one kid who loved it enough to ask for sudoku puzzles to calm her down in school; and two who wish it never existed. So, when your kids thinks math was created by adults to make their lives miserable, how do you handle it? What do you do when your child hates math?
First, you find out if there's something 'clinical' going on. Seriously, it's one thing to not like math, and another to have an actual learning disability in math, and you'll want to know which it is for your child. The school can work with you to determine if your child has Dyscalculia, which is just a fancy name for a learning disability in math.
But how do you know if it’s Dyscalculia?
If your child really hates math, there are formal charts and scales that professionals can use to assess your child's learning capacity for math. And you'll definitely want to request that your child be evaluated.
And then, there’s the old, tried and true, mama-method. If a number of these warning signs ring true for you, your child might need to be evaluated for Dyscalculia:
- “just not a math kid”
- starts to break down emotionally when facing math homework
- takes many times longer to do math than other subjects
- does not seem to “grasp” the math no matter how many times it’s been reviewed and retaught
- struggles with learning basic computations
- goes 'blank' or freezes when you ask anything math related
- begins to shift from "not a math kid" to "hates math"
The good news is that Dyscalculia is relatively easy for a school psychologist to assess, and there are strategies, accommodations and modifications that can help your child be more successful in school.
For parents, the most important thing to help your child is to get her the support she needs in math, and then make sure you balance all of that attention on her challenge area by focusing on her strengths!
Kids with learning disabilities can get discouraged when we only focus on what they’re struggling with, and forget to help them see where their gifts lie.
So what do you do when your child hates math? Address it as necessary, and focus on what your child loves!