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8 Simple Ways How to Help Kids Learn from Their Mistakes in Mathematics

by Sep 13, 2016Mathematics

Children today find themselves growing up in a society that is exceedingly competitive and perfection oriented. They are bombarded by images of unattainable standards in the form of beauty, education and job prospects that they crumble under the pressure of such great expectations. Young children are especially vulnerable to such pressure and they sometimes strive tooth and nail to please their parents and teachers.
Students often suffer from great anxiety with subjects like mathematics and despair over little mistakes. Teachers and parents wonder how they can help children learn from their mistakes in a way that helps them get over their fear of mathematics and learn from their errors.
Are mistakes in mathematics a good thing?
Many parents worry obsessively about their kid’s inability to excel at mathematics. However, recent research suggests that making mistakes in math can actually be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It shows you that your children are putting in an effort. If they are making mistakes then they are practicing and with a subject like math, practice makes perfect.
  • Mistakes actually improve learning as it makes students less likely to repeat their errors.
  • By the process of elimination, mathematics mistakes can help students figure out what is not working for them which gets them closer to finding a solution that will.
  • Mistakes can help you pinpoint the gaps in your student’s understanding and thus make it easier for you to focus your efforts.

So the problem lies in making the most of these mistakes that children make instead of trying to avoid them altogether.You can also Learn some important tips to improve your child in Mathematics to avoid making them mistakes.
Here are some guidelines to follow if you’re trying to help kids learn from their mistakes in mathematics:

  1. Remove the element of fear:
  • Mathematics is a subject that you cannot memorize and learn. It must be understood, practiced and applied. That is what makes it such a difficult subject for young children.
  • Children develop a fear of mathematics because they make mistakes and start to develop a fear of failure.
  • Their fear of the subject is intrinsically connected to their fear of disappointing their parents and teachers, as well as a fear of repercussion.
  • The first step to helping your children learn from their mistakes in mathematics is to give them an accepting environment where they no longer fear failure.
  • Once they realise that mistakes are not the end of the world and are in fact rather easy to fix, they will be more likely to try harder and experiment further without the fear of failure.
  1. Maintain a positive attitude:
  • It is never a good idea to chastise children for their inability to keep up with their academics.
  • Unless your child is exceptionally naughty and deliberately handing in subpar work or getting distracted and not doing work at all, punishment will actually cause him more harm than good.
  • Children normally like to please their parents and teachers. If they are making mistakes with their school work, it is most probably a comprehension issue which cannot be solved with negative reinforcement.
  • Motivate your students but never shame them for their mistakes. That will only petrify them further and cause them to try to hide their mistakes from their parents and tutors who can help them.
  • Sometimes parents hold their kids to such exacting standards that they crumble under the pressure and grow into maladjusted individuals. Some of them become neurotic overachievers and others lose all self-esteem and give up altogether because they believe they will never manage to succeed.
  • Create a warm and nurturing environment so that your children feel safe and valued. Ensure that they understand that you love for them is not conditional upon their academic prowess. This helps kids feel better about making mistakes and make it easier for them to move on from past errors.
  1. Don’t do their work for them:
  • A lot of parents have difficulty letting go and end up stifling and spoiling their children.
  • You must give you kids the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. You can go through Tips to do mathematics homework quickly to help them complete their task rapidly by themselves.
  • Point out and explain where they went wrong, but never do their work for them.
  • If they have made mistakes with their mathematics assignment, do not correct it for them. Show them how to do it right with the help of the example and then let them correct their mistakes by themselves.
  • Not only does this help them learn from their mistakes, it gives them the confidence to work independently to rectify their own mistakes in the future.
  • This gives them an impetus to strive and put in the effort to produce good work. This could also apply if you’re wondering How to motivate students to work hard on their civil engineering assignment.
  1. Focus on learning and improvement instead of marks:
  • Be positive and encouraging.
  • Do not focus on things like exam results, scores and marks.
  • Focus on clear concepts and general improvement in terms of comprehension.
  • Do not encourage children to memorize problems. Maths is not a subject that can be understood with the help of rote learning.
  • Encourage factors like effort and improvement instead of intelligence and success. When you focus on effort, it encourages students to keep working hard. If you focus on intelligence, children become more disheartened by their mistakes.
  • By taking the pressure off of their mistakes or on scores, and focusing on improvement and learning, you ensure that your children don’t obsess over their mistakes.
  • Help them learn from their mistakes by focusing on the ones at hand. Don’t brood on past mistakes. There are so many different ways by which you can Learn some important tips to improve your child in Mathematics.
  1. Help change your kid’s perception about mistakes:
  • Empathize with your students. Tell them about the kind of math errors you made as a student. This will encourage them to try harder and not feel quite as awful about their own mistakes.
  • Help them to perceive mistakes as a stepping stone to improvement. Encourage them to talk about their doubts and seek help.
  • Talk to your students and children about making mistakes. Help them understand that making mistakes can be a good thing as long as they learn from their mistakes and work past it.
  • Motivate them by rewarding victories and celebrating small improvements.
  • Acknowledge your kids for being brave enough to admit that they require assistance because some children feel ashamed to admit that they may need remedial classes to help them learn from their mathematics mistakes.
  1. Be consistent and thorough:
  • If you want your students to learn from their mathematics mistakes, you need to get into the details of their errors.
  • Do not just mark a problem as incorrect. You need to explain where the student went wrong and show them how they can correct their mistake.
  • Children tend to perceive all mistakes as insurmountable errors. By showing them a detailed step by step solution you can help them understand how easy it is to move past a small mistake and correct it.
  1. Utilize your students mistakes strategically:
  • Teachers can learn a lot from the nature of their student’s mistakes.
  • A student’s mistakes can help teachers gauge their progress and understanding.
  • You may use this knowledge of your students understanding to plan your lessons in a way that revises the areas that most students seem to be having difficulty with.
  • At home, kid’s mistakes can show parents where they need extra guidance.
  • Once you have identified the source of the problem, it becomes that much easier to address it.
  1. Provide clear and consistent feedback:
  • Students do not always recognize and understand their mistakes.
  • By giving them timely and consistent feedback, you can help them address their problem areas and focus on improvement.
  • It is a good idea to have a transparent line of communication between teachers and parents so that they can work together to help children learn from their mathematics mistakes.

With these great tips in mind, you should have no trouble helping children make the most of their mistakes in mathematics.