"I'm just not a maths person."
Have you ever said those words? I said them plenty as my daughter was growing up.
I was ignorant of the impact that statements like those can have on a kid's mindset. I didn't realise that I was contributing to her developing belief that she couldn't do maths. I didn't realise that I was passing on my own "closed mindset" and would later come to regret all those times when I'd said, "It's okay, I'm not good at maths either".
When we began homeschooling, maths was a major source of conflict. It was the one area that my daughter considered completely beyond her. Any mistake made was immediately followed by, "I'm so stupid" or "I'll never be able to do this". Things that should have taken minutes instead took hours. I could see that there was more at play than a simple lack of interest.
Learning to engage the visual spatial and creative artistic elements of maths has had a huge impact, but before we could begin to find the beauty in this topic we had to learn about the concept of "growth mindset" and unlearn many of our own unhelpful beliefs.
If you are struggling with maths, if it's a topic that induces fear or frustration, try working through this brilliant, free online course from Standford University.
It's so liberating to hear "when you make a mistake in maths your brain grows" !
How to Learn Maths is a free self-paced class for learners of all levels of mathematics. It combines really important information on the brain and learning with new evidence on the best ways to approach and learn math effectively. Many people have had negative experiences with math, and end up disliking math or failing. This class will give learners of math the information they need to become powerful math learners, it will correct any misconceptions they have about what math is, and it will teach them about their own potential to succeed and the strategies needed to approach math effectively. If you have had past negative experiences with math this will help change your relationship to one that is positive and powerful