• What Is A Math Mindset And How Might It Affect Your Family | Zoie Hoffman | Episode 30

  • When kids struggle in math it can erode their self-confidence and even cause family issues. Plus, the year-over-year struggles wear on everyone. Even when our kids don’t struggle, we may be limiting them without even realizing it. But there is hope and math mindset is a big part of that. Mighty Parenting Podcast hosts, Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler, chat with Zoie Hoffman about the lies we believe about math, the math mindset and how it affects our kids and our family.


    A favorite quote from the math mindset show:

    Math is creative, yet we tell creative kids they aren’t good at it.

    High Points From The Interview:

    Math is a subject that builds on itself so early problems easily compound.

    Sometimes parents and other adults try to comfort kids and tell them that they are creative and creative people often aren’t good at math or they tell girls that boys are just better at math. And that can give kids a mindset that holds them back.

    When kids struggle with math their struggles can come from, or be compounded by, their math mindset.

    Math is creative.

    Most great mathematicians are not quick with mental math.

    The biggest problems our kids run into with math:

    • Math mindset – often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
    • Kids are learning math in different ways than what their parents have seen which creates frustration.
    • Getting stuck on one of the core concepts

    If your child is weak in, or doesn’t understand,, a core concept, get them help whether the class is still on that idea or not.

    Parents can ask questions to determine if their child is having trouble (even if you don’t know how to do the math). Ask exploring questions about what they’ve done, why they chose to do that, what their thinking was behind it, why they have to do certain things in the problem.

    Signs your child may have a detrimental math mindset:

    • Limiting language—I can’t do this. So-and-so is better at math than me. My teacher thinks I’m stupid.
    • If the parent has issues then the child may also have them as we tend to pass them along.

    Math puzzles, general problem-solving activities can help to improve your child’s math mindset as they start to see themselves as a capable problem solver.

    Doing some diagnostic tests to identify weaknesses in core areas then working with the teacher or a tutor to strengthen those can help older students who’ve been struggling for a long time. As you do this, be careful of their feelings and bolster their mindset because going back to older concepts can be embarrassing.

    Our Guest:

    Zoie Hoffman is a passionate educator, cat mom, bookworm, and proud Air Force spouse. Growing up, she didn’t consider herself a “math person”. She found her passion for the subject after she graduated college, as she realized that her mindset around math was the only thing holding her back. As the owner and founder of Zoie Hoffman Tutoring, an online tutoring company that serves students in K-6th grade, Zoie dedicates her days to ensuring kids get the education and mindset building they need through personalized tutoring sessions that cater to their personality, preferences, and learning style. To continue her journey of resetting her math mindset, Zoie is currently pursuing a masters degree in math instruction at Boise State University. When not helping students, leading her team of talented tutors, or doing homework, you can find Zoie exploring the beautiful mountains near her home in Boise, ID.

    More from our Guest:

    You can learn more about Zoie’s services at: https://www.zoiehoffman.com/