Students are often seen giving a wide berth to the subject of mathematics. They are busy complaining about their math homework and are always found saying, “I need help with my math homework”. Why is it so? Let us try to understand the reason behind this constant ramble of students-”I need help with my math homework”.
Students have the following complaints against math:
- Math is difficult:
We can say that this misconception has been circulated around students. It passes on from one generation to the next-that math is a terror inviting subject and can never be fun. One more reason can be that, that math requires analytic and logical ability. It is not a subject to be mugged up. But once you start understanding it, it will become your favorite subject. The misconception that math is difficult needs to be removed from the minds of the students.
- Math is not English so why are there x, y, z and a, b, c:
As we all know, algebra involves variables. These variables are represented by the alphabets of English, instead of using other symbols, in order to lessen the confusion. This is the only reason why alphabets are used in mathematics. But the presence of alphabets in the subject of math irritates some students and they take a disliking to it.
- The fear of calculation:
Yes, mathematics does involve calculations but with practice and by being cautious, you can master that too. The fear of those long and time-consuming multiplications and divisions take a toll on the patience of the students and they feel stuck in math because of its calculations.
- The big word problems:
The word problems seem too tough and next to impossible to solve because understanding the word problem requires command over the language. The next step involves conversion of the word problem into mathematical equations, which requires the knowledge of fundamentals of math. If you do not understand the basics, how will you form the equation? The third step involves solving the equations to arrive at the answer. Students lack the patience to complete these three steps.
“I am too worried. What will happen if I don’t get the passing marks in math? I always get stuck in math and need help with my math homework”- this is the conversation going on between two friends. Is there any way to help them out? Let us find out.
Following are some of the ways which you can apply and be assured that you will not have to again helplessly tell your friend-“I need help with my math homework”. Follow the rules and you can be a genius in math. Apart from that you may also read posts like “I need help on my math homework”- is this your day and night chanting?”
- Math is conquerable:
Understanding math can be difficult in the initial stage. But, it is not impossible. We cannot expect that children will understand math miraculously. It is essential to provide them with proper training and to instill in them a feeling of curiosity and eagerness towards this subject right from their childhood.
- Engage in team work:
It has often been found that interacting with peers help students to get new ideas and they benefit from it. In class, when a student comes up with a solution to a particular problem and the next student too comes up with another solution to the same problem, it makes them understand that math is not limited to a single process. If you can train your mind to think in such a way, you can find multiple solutions to a question.
- Mix up the problems:
It is not essential that you practice questions from a single topic for a day. I personally get bored when I solve questions from the same topic, say percentage or profit and loss. The easy way to get rid of this monotony is to mix your problems. Solve twenty questions from one topic then go to the next. If you need more practice on the first topic, you can return to the first topic after you are done with the second, otherwise you can move on to the third topic.
- Introduce yourself to challenges:
Challenges can be anything- a difficult question from your syllabus or brain games like Sudoku and puzzles. Solving these puzzles provides food for your brain. Your reasoning ability, logical thinking, creative awareness and span of concentration increases. Puzzle involves breaking down the complex structure into many simple parts and arriving at the solution. When you have the habit of using this strategy for solving puzzles, you can apply the same strategy for solving mathematical questions.
- Time management:
Time management is the need of the hour. If you make judicious use of time, you will not have to face the pressure of deadlines of submission of your homework. If you are able to effectively manage your time, it is going to help throughout your life- not only in your academic field but also in your professional career.
- Learn from your mistakes:
If you are not making mistakes, it means you are not learning. A person cannot be right, right from the start. Mistakes are the stepping stones to success. A research has revealed that committing a mistake is actually good when it comes to learning. When a student makes a mistake, and the teacher corrects him, he will go through the corrected solution, understand his fault that it is less likely that he will make the same mistake again.
- Revision of the earlier topics:
Make it a habit of going through the previous topics before you start with a new topic. This will help you to remember the previously learnt topics and will also help you in understanding the next topic better if there is an interconnection between the two topics.
- Make visuals:
When you close your eyes and someone tells to think about a car. What did you imagine? The word car written on a piece of paper or an image or a video of an actual car? Definitely the image or video of an actual car. This is because we think in images. Images help you to remember things better and to relate with it.
Always draw the figure when you are solving questions on geometry, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry or mensuration. Mention the details in the figure. If you do this, you are halfway done with the question. All that remains is to solve the equation or do the calculation and arriving at the answer.
You do not always need the help of coaching centers to cover the journey from “I am utterly terrified and need help with my math homework” to “I am not facing any problem in my math homework”. Math is all about understanding and logic. Follow these tips, do lots of practice, improve your skills and most importantly- have confidence in yourself.