“Students Don’t Hate Math, They Hate Being Confused By It”

Sep 3, 2020 | Stone Oak

“Children don’t hate math. What they hate is being confused, intimidated, and embarrassed by math. With understanding comes passion, and with passion comes growth- a treasure is unlocked.” - Larry Martinek, creator of the Mathnasium Method 


We all know at least one relative or friend who is petrified of math. Many students echo similar sentiments and they cope by memorizing steps of problems that are most likely to appear in their school tests. 


The problem is very real. Stanford professor, Jo Boaler writes in her book Mathematical Mindsets (2016): “Mathematics, more than any other subject, has the power to crush students’ spirits, and many adults do not move on from mathematics experiences in school if they are negative. When students get the idea that they cannot do math, they often maintain a negative relationship with mathematics throughout the rest of their lives.”


Developing a growth mindset

We have to start with mindset and perspective first. There is no such thing as being a “math person”. This statement wrongly implies that some children have innate abilities to do well in math, whereas others do not. Every student can get increasingly better at math through persistence, effort and determination. 


Embrace the word “yet”

All children want to prove their abilities, perform well, and feel good about themselves. If your child is avoiding math because they feel intimidated or confused, tell them that they have not mastered it yet


Mathnasium is designed to work as a safe haven for every student that walks through our doors who need relief from boredom, embarrassment, and frustration. As students gain a greater understanding of math, they become excited about it, and when that excitement turns into passion, that passion can lead to growth.  


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