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Why You Need To Stop Telling Your Child You Are Bad At Math

Ever caught yourself saying, “Sorry kiddo, I’m just not good at math,” when they come to you for homework help? You might think you’re just venting your frustration or making an offhand comment. But the truth is, remarks like these can have serious implications for your child’s mathematical development. Parents often unwittingly pass on their math anxiety to their children, establishing a harmful cycle that’s tough to break. But don’t despair, you have the power to change this narrative.

This blog post, “Why You Need To Stop Telling Your Child You Are Bad At Math,” is all about breaking down this issue and providing you with the tools you need to tackle it head-on.

This post will delve into the concept of math anxiety – what it is, why it happens and how you can help your child overcome any fears they may have about math. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this journey of discovery together!

The Parental Influence: How Your Math Attitude Shapes Your Child’s Perception

You may not realize it, but your attitude towards math greatly influences how your child perceives the subject. When parents frequently express their difficulty with math, children often internalize these attitudes, growing up believing that they are ‘bad’ at math. This can lead to a phenomenon known as ‘math anxiety’ – a fear and dread of math which can hinder their progress in the subject.

Math Anxiety: The Unseen Barrier

Math anxiety is a real psychological condition. It stems from negative experiences or attitudes towards math, often absorbed from parents or teachers. This fear stifles a child’s potential to excel in maths, creating a mental block that is hard to overcome. Children with math anxiety tend to avoid the subject in school and later in life, which creates a cycle of fear and avoidance that can be hard to break.

An important thing to remember is that math anxiety is not about genuine inability, but a learned fear. When parents repeatedly say they are ‘bad at math,’ it teaches children to be afraid of the subject. This fear then translates into avoidance, causing a cycle that reinforces the belief that they can’t do maths.

Overcoming the Fear: You’re the Key

Overcoming this fear starts with you. As a parent, you need to address your own fears and attitudes towards math before helping your child with math. The way parents discuss math, and even the casual comments made about the subject can have profound impacts on their attitude towards math.

It’s not about becoming a math whiz overnight. It’s more about cultivating a positive attitude towards the subject and showing your child that math is not something to be feared, but rather, something that can be understood and mastered with practice and perseverance.

Remember, your child looks up to you. Your words carry weight. So, make sure they are words of encouragement and empowerment when it comes to math. This way, you can help your child break free from math anxiety and set them on the path to success.

The Power of Positivity: Encouraging Your Child in Math

It’s easy to forget the significant impact our attitudes can have on our children’s mindset and propensity to learn. Our perspective and communication around math, in particular, can influence their confidence and comfort when tackling this subject.

Provide Reassurance Not Pressure

Children often perceive math as a rigid subject with one ‘right’ answer. This perception can fuel their math anxiety, as they fear making mistakes and consequently being ‘wrong.’ It’s essential to shift this perspective and reassure them that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Even if their solution doesn’t hit the mark, praise them for the effort and resilience they’ve shown – this can significantly boost their confidence to tackle mathematical problems fearlessly.

The Value of Persistent Effort

Instilling a growth mindset is crucial in cultivating a positive outlook toward math. Explain that mathematical abilities aren’t set in stone and can be improved through perseverance and consistent practice. This perspective helps them break away from viewing math as a daunting subject and encourages consistent learning.

Provide Constructive Feedback

When helping your child with math, it’s essential to provide constructive feedback. Instead of focusing on the mistakes made, highlight the concepts they’ve managed to understand and offer lucid explanations where they seem to falter. This method fosters a positive and constructive learning environment which can elevate their mathematical capabilities.

Encouragement over Discouragement – Practice Positive Reinforcement

Lastly, but no less important, is the application of positive reinforcement. Celebrate their wins, no matter how small. This will help them associate math with positive experiences and outcomes, dispelling any ingrained fears of the subject and further encouraging the development of their skills.

Remember, your attitude and approach to math can significantly influence your child’s probability of success. Be the beacon of positivity and encouragement in their mathematical journey to shape a confident and capable math student.

Overcoming Obstacles: Strategies to Help Your Child Conquer Math Anxiety

Children soak up the attitudes and beliefs from their primary role models – you, their parent. When it comes to overcoming math anxiety when helping your child with math, there are a handful of strategies you can employ to help them replace fear with confidence.

Create a Math-Friendly Environment at Home

Turn math into a regular part of daily life. When cooking, discuss measurements. When shopping, talk about prices and discounts. Making math a routine part of your day helps dissolve any anxiety, helping your child see it as a normal and manageable part of life.

Educate Yourself First

If you’re also grappling with math anxiety, take steps to overcome your own fears. Invest in resources that help you brush up on your skills. Your increased confidence can directly influence your child’s attitude towards math.

Make Use of Fun Learning Tools

From online games to crafted colour-coded flashcards, many educational tools make math fun and engaging for children. These resources can reduce their anxiety and form a positive perception of math, all while improving their skills.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

If your child’s math anxiety seems unusually severe, consider seeking professional help. Trained educators and counsellors can equip your child with effective strategies to manage their fears and boost their confidence.

By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can help your child overcome any hurdles they may face while learning math. Remember, it’s not about being perfect at math. It’s about overcoming the fear and embracing the journey of learning.

The Influence of Teacher-Parent Communication in Math Anxiety

You may remember the adage “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, when it comes to math development, it’s no different. The significant influence of teacher-parent communication in math anxiety can be likened to the adage, “It requires a supportive network to raise a mathematically confident child.”

Keeping an open line of communication with your child’s teacher can do wonders in alleviating math anxiety. By doing so, you are proactively assisting in your child’s daily learning journey. This gives you a firsthand insight into their mathematical understanding, shedding light on areas for improvement and spaces wherein they excel.

Teachers can offer useful tips and strategies to cultivate a positive math attitude. They have substantial experience under their belts, making them knowledgeable about various teaching methods tailored to your child’s specific needs. Therefore, their input is extremely invaluable.

Additionally, teacher-parent communication enables you to align your efforts at home with the lessons in school. Consistency is key in any learning process, and math is no exception. With suitable alignment, children can better grasp and absorb mathematical concepts, further boosting their confidence and reducing anxiety.

To quote a well-regarded cliché: ‘Knowledge is power.’ The more you are engaged in your child’s mathematical learning process, the better you can support them to surmount the anxiety that may come their way. Rest assured, every child has the potential to be good at math. It’s up to us, as parents and educators, to guide them towards unlocking that potential.

In conclusion, let’s absorb this profound truth: Each one of us can be proficient at math, ourselves and our children alike. The journey towards overcoming math anxiety begins with ceasing to claim ‘bad-at-math’ status. By baking an atmosphere of positivity around math, practicing constant reassurance, persistence, and providing gainful feedback, we can spread the joy of mathematics.

Remember to always stay in touch with your child’s teachers and never hesitate to seek professional help when necessary. Ultimately, our united front against math anxiety can illuminate the path for our children to walk confidently into a bright future with numbers, logic, and problem-solving.

For more resources on helping your child with math, and homework help support, sign up for our eBulletin!

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How Manipulatives Can Help Children Understand Complex Ideas

If there’s one thing that all parents want for their children, it’s for them to be successful in life. One of the key ways to achieve success is to give your children a strong foundation in education. And when it comes to mathematics, nothing can help children understand complex ideas like manipulatives can. This blog post will discuss how manipulatives can help children understand complex math ideas and why they are so valuable in the classroom. We’ll also provide tips on using manipulatives at home to help your child with math homework. So keep reading to learn more!

What Are Manipulatives?

Manipulatives are objects that can be moved or manipulated to help children learn. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be used to help explain everything from basic addition and subtraction to more complex concepts. Manipulatives can be used with students of all ages, from preschoolers just learning to count to high school students studying advanced algebra.

For example, using manipulatives like blocks can help children visualize what it means to add numbers together. This can make it easier for them to understand the concept and perform calculations correctly. While manipulatives are most used for younger children when they are learning division, fractions, and other mathematical concepts, older students can also benefit greatly from them. Some advanced math concepts that can be done with math manipulatives include:


  • Area, volume, and surface area (snap cubes, power polygons)
  • Exponents (two-sided counters)
  • Operations with decimals (base 10 blocks)
base 10 blocks
  • Operations with fractions (fractions strips, relational rods)
fractions strips, relational rods
  • Square roots (graph paper and square arrays)
graph paper and square arrays
  • Ratios (snap cubes, pattern blocks)
snap cubes, pattern blocks
  • Algebraic properties (algebra tiles)
snap cubes, pattern blocks
  • Operations with polynomials (algebra tiles)
snap cubes, pattern blocks
  • Operations with negative and positive numbers (two-sided counters)
two-sided counters

A Positive Attitude

If you are thinking of using manipulatives with your child to help with their math education, your involvement and positive attitude are vital to success as a parent. Even if you are suffering from math anxiety, staying engaged and willing to learn along with your child using manipulatives is important. You will be delighted to see that your child’s understanding increases as your engagement and learning increase. 

At Dropkick Math, we believe a child’s success can largely depend on the involvement of the parent/guardian. All of our programs offer the option for parents to become involved and learn alongside their children. 

Visually Simple

Math manipulatives are traditionally visually simple as research has shown how detail such as that found on play money can easily distract children. Education professionals have carefully designed manipulatives to help bridge the gap between concrete and abstract concepts. 

Why Math Manipulatives Work

So why might a child learn math concepts using the aid of manipulatives better than if they try to solve it in a symbolic form? Researchers think it may be because children think more concretely than adults. They typically rely on physically interacting with the world to make sense of it, and their ability to think abstractly is extremely limited. Some education specialists believe it is because children are in an operational stage from age 7 to 12, where they need to use concrete objects to support logical reasoning. A child can think using pure abstractions in the formal operations stage from age 12 and up.  

Another theory as to why manipulatives work suggests it is because they help to move the body. It is suggested that cognition is not just a product of the mind, but the body also participates. For example, children may have a perception of what the word “kick” means, but the meaning of the work becomes solidified when they experience the feeling of kicking something. 

By this account, it isn’t so much the manipulatives themselves that help children understand math concepts, but the movement behind them. If this theory is true, many people ask if computer-aided manipulatives can be as helpful as the real thing. There are exceptions, but computer-based manipulatives have been found to help just as much as physical ones. 

While more research is needed to understand how manipulatives work and which theories are entirely accurate, one fact remains the same; manipulatives will always lead to better understanding. 

Why Math Manipulatives Are Beneficial 

Math manipulatives are beneficial for students for a few reasons. First, they provide a hands-on way for students to interact with the material and better understand number sense. For tactile learners, this can help children gain a better understanding of math concepts. 

Second, math manipulatives can be reused multiple times, which helps students learn new concepts as they build on what they have already learned. Math is a subject that builds upon itself, and manipulatives offer an excellent opportunity for children to learn how new concepts add to existing ones they have already mastered. 

Finally, math manipulatives can be fun and engaging, making learning math more enjoyable for students. In any math illustration, children will understand that manipulatives are playful tools that will help them understand ideas differently. Educators have confirmed that sorting, measuring, distinguishing patterns, and ordering numerals have been very effective with a conceptual understanding of math. 

When To Stop Using Manipulatives

Math manipulatives intend not to make children forever dependent on them but to use them as they work through complex problems. For example, high school students should not be pulling out a string of beads as they prepare for a math test. Although extremely helpful when first learning math concepts, math manipulatives can be time-consuming and inconvenient. However, when trying to understand a new idea, children should practice with the manipulatives until they can demonstrate the concept without the manipulatives.

They do have their purpose as students grow through high school and university when a new concept is introduced. Older students often find manipulatives helpful when articulating their thought processes when trying to explain a complex concept. When a new concept is introduced, the process of developing understanding strengthens by connecting concrete manipulatives to visual and symbolic representations. When the student is able to connect the different representations to symbolic form, they should be able to stop using the manipulatives. 

Many students find math difficult and frustrating, but using manipulatives can help to make it more accessible and enjoyable. So, if your child struggles with mathematics, try getting some manipulatives to use at home!

Online Math Help

Dropkick Math is a unique tutoring company offering online math help to students who may have experienced an education gap caused by the pandemic. We encourage students to use math manipulatives as a way to understand complex math ideas. Learn more about our programs and if they are the right fit for your child. 

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How To Capture The Attention Of Your Distracted Child

As a parent, it can be frustrating when your child is constantly distracted and won’t pay attention to you. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many parents are struggling with this issue. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help capture your child’s attention. In this blog post, we will discuss a few of them. Keep reading for more information.

It’s no secret that our world is full of distractions. Whether it’s the constant ping of notifications from our phones or the never-ending stream of information on social media, it’s easy to see why children have difficulties learning to focus. 

Limit Media Distractions

One of the main attention-grabbers for children is media. Children are not always as good at filtering out noise as adults are. This means having the television on while your child is trying to do homework may interfere with their concentration. To help limit distractions, allow your child only one hour of “screen time” per day. This includes using the computer, playing video games, and watching television. Once the hour is up, have your child turn off all electronics and focus on completing their schoolwork. Explain that this new rule is in place to better focus on their studies and avoid getting behind in class. Helping your child develop better attention span habits now will pay off later when they have to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously in adulthood.

Keep Them Engaged

Maintaining kids’ attention has a lot to do with how engaging their lessons are. If kids aren’t participating in the learning, keeping their attention will be a lot more complicated. That’s why interactive and hands-on activities are often more successful in holding children’s attention than lectures or one-sided instruction. 

In mathematics, there are many tools that can be used to help children interact with math. These tools help carry out a particular function and are often referred to as manipulatives. These are especially helpful for tactile learners.

Math manipulatives allow children to feel, touch and visualize what they can’t yet create on their own. They can enable children to receive immediate feedback about whether their idea makes sense. Using tools, a child can move hands-on objects to investigate and explore a math concept that may be challenging. For example, young students might use Unifix cubes to model addition and subtraction equations. Unifix CubesThey can gain a concrete understanding of the math concepts by touching and moving the manipulatives. 

In contrast, simply listening to a teacher explain a math concept can be much less effective. When children are actively involved in their own learning, they are more likely to retain the information. When manipulatives are used in math learning techniques, they can be valuable for helping children be less distracted. 

Provide Breaks

Parents and guardians play an essential role in a child’s education, especially when it comes to studying at home. One way to help a child focus on their work is by providing brain breaks. A brain break is a short 3 – 5 minute period where the child can take a break from their studies and do something else. This can be as simple as taking a walk, reading a book, or playing with a pet. Brain breaks help to relieve boredom and stress, release excess energy, and they can also improve attention span. As a result, brain breaks can be an effective way to help children stay focused on their studies.

Make It Fun!

Getting attention from kids can sometimes feel like herding cats. They see something that interests them, and they’re off in a different direction before you even have a chance to blink. One way is to use a silly phrase. This allows kids to get a little silliness out before they need to redirect their focus.

Just be sure to make the fun age-appropriate; what’s fun for 9-year-olds isn’t the same as what’s fun for teens. When choosing your method, you may have to try a few different ideas to see how your child responds. Whichever way you choose, remember that attention-getting should be brief and specific so that kids know exactly what they need to do next.

Making learning fun doesn’t always have to be silly. At Dropkick Math, we provide game-based programs, so children look forward to learning. Our programs help to fill in any educational gaps that may have been caused by a disruption of learning over the past couple of years. 

Understanding Mathematics

Math class can be difficult for some students who may not understand the material or the ways in which math is used in the real world. However, our Waterloo math services help children from around the area overcome these difficulties by providing a better understanding of math concepts and their applications. We will work with your child to identify any misunderstandings and help them develop the skills they need to overcome these barriers. As a result, your child will be better prepared to succeed in math class and ultimately have a stronger foundation for future success.

All of our instructors at Dropkick Math are certified Ontario teachers who offer research-based math learning techniques. To learn if our programs are the right option for your child, have them complete our FREE online assessment today!

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5 Top Lifestyle Tips For Students

As parents, we want what is best for our children and often go to great lengths to ensure their happiness and success. We carefully select the right school for them, enroll them in extracurricular activities, and make sure they have the latest and greatest toys and gadgets. However, one of the most important things we can do for our children is to help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating properly, getting enough sleep, and practicing regular exercise are just a few lifestyle behaviours that can help children thrive in their education, and that will stay with them long after they finish school. Here are five tips to get started.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

It is well known that sleep is an essential part of overall health for both children and adults. In addition to allowing the body time to recuperate and repair, sleep has been shown to be particularly important for memory formation and academic performance. Parents are often under pressure to help their children excel in school, and providing them with a good night’s rest can make all the difference. By setting a consistent bedtime routine and encouraging their kids to engage in activities that promote relaxation before bed, parents can help ensure that their children get the rest they need for success in school. Whether it’s taking a warm bath or even doing some math before bed (, parents can do a great deal to foster healthy sleeping habits in their children to better succeed academically.

Eat A Healthy Diet

It is essential to choose the right foods that can power the brain and help with focus when it comes to studying. These include foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like nuts or avocados, and antioxidant-rich superfoods like blueberries or dark chocolate. These nutrient-packed foods can increase your child’s awareness and mental sharpness, providing the energy needed for a successful study session. Additionally, some foods, like probiotic-rich kefir or yogurt, can even impact gut hormones and influence cognitive abilities in various ways. With so many different options available, parents can help their children stay focused on their studies by providing them with nutritious foods that will boost their productivity both in the classroom and in their extracurricular activities. After all, we’ve always been told that you are what you eat!

Exercise Daily

As parents, it is essential that we help ensure that our children are getting enough physical activity to keep their minds sharp and focused. Studies have shown that exercise can boost overall health and fitness and help with cognitive performance, particularly when it comes to memory and concentration.

One type of exercise that has been found to be particularly beneficial for students is aerobic exercise. Getting the body pumping and circulating more blood throughout the brain can support crucial cognitive functions like learning and decision-making. Additionally, various stretches and poses that engage the core muscles have been shown to improve focus and concentration in the classroom.

For parents, it is important to encourage their kids to get regular aerobic exercise by building in plenty of opportunities for physical activity into their daily routines. Whether through after-school sports teams or simply going for a family walk or bike ride together on weekends, parents play an essential role in fostering a mindset of healthy living among our children. By supporting their physical health, we can also support their academic success as well!

Staying Hydrated

As parents, one of our top priorities is ensuring that our children are healthy and well-nourished. This means taking care of their physical health and helping them stay focused and alert throughout the day. Not only does this mean getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet, but it also means making sure that they stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Studies have shown that staying hydrated enhances concentration levels, sharpens mental focus, and helps to prevent fatigue. But when we send our children off to school each day, we can’t always be there to control what they eat and drink. That’s why it is so important for parents to encourage their children to drink water instead of sugary sodas or caffeinated beverages. A small water bottle that they can carry with them throughout the day will ensure that they get all the fluids they need to stay alert and engaged in class.

Have Fun!

Parents need to encourage their children to participate in extracurricular activities outside of school. Playing and having fun is essential to reducing school-induced stress. Parents should provide their children with opportunities to play and have fun. Sports, music, and art are all great outlets for children to explore and express themselves. Getting involved in extracurricular activities also allows children to meet new friends and learn new skills. Parents should talk to their child’s teacher to see what type of activities are available and encourage their child to try something new. 

Studies have shown that students who are involved in extracurricular activities have better grades and are less likely to drop out of school. So, parents must make sure that their child balances schoolwork with extracurricular activities. Too much of either can lead to problems. A healthy balance between the two will help children succeed in school and in life.

Simple Lifestyle Behaviours

Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, drinking water, sleeping well, and having fun are all ways to perform better in school. Children who follow these simple lifestyle behaviours tend to do better in school and life. If you want your child to succeed, start by implementing these easy tips today.

If your child is struggling in school, some easy lifestyle changes may be able to help. If their academic problems are caused by more than just a lack of sleep or exercise, Dropkick Math can help! We are an alternative to an online math tutor, offering fun and engaging programs taught by certified Ontario teachers. 

We like to think of ourselves as math program Toronto experts and truly want to see your child thrive in their studies. So, if your child is showing a gap in learning, don’t search online for a “math tutor near me.” Check out our programs and have your child get started with our FREE assessment today!