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Most teachers can attest the fact that math issues will adversely affect behavior in children. Why do math problems cause behavior problems in the class or at home during homework? Anxiety? Rachel Adelson explores math anxiety in her September 2014 research/piece entitled “Nervous About Numbers: Brain Patterns Reflect Math Anxiety.” She found that both math anxiety and concomitant brain changes are found in children who have yet to learn their multiplication tables. That threatens the acquisition of additional foundation skills such as long division, fractions, and percentages. University of Nevada researchers showed that math anxiety can curtail working memory, reducing the critical ability to mentally juggle more than one item at a time. There is no doubt that math anxiety causes behavioral issues in math class if children feel incompetent with basic math skills and have difficulties with working memory as anxiety increases. Consequently, math class ends up being a daily prison for many children. Sian Beilock from the University of Chicago, further stated, “The fact that math-anxious folks activate some of the same areas of the brain that are activated when people feel physical pain tells us something important.” Therefore, if your child is having behavior difficulties in math class and struggling with basic math skills, it is highly possible they are suffering from math anxiety and need a weekly math tutor to help with basic math skills in order to boost their self-esteem and lower their anxiety. To read the full article by Rachel Adelson, please read the Observer, September 2014


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