Math is probably the bane of many a child's academic life, but although it is a pretty hard and frustrating subject, your kid doesn’t need to have superior IQ to ace it; according to a study on, he only needs to have the motivation to do so.

Kou Murayama, a postdoctoral researcher of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his fellow researchers, analyzed data from a German study which worked with 3,520 students from fifth to 10th grade. In a span of five years, they took into account each student’s IQ, study habits, and level of motivation to see academic growth.

They found that although IQ is important in the initial development of math proficiency and competence, motivation really helps students pull through the subject. When a student feels confident about his skills, he then feels more motivated to learn, and therefore uses other skills and materials in order to become more competent.

Murayama notes, "Our study suggests that students' competencies to learn in math involve factors that can be nurtured by education. Educational programs focusing on students' motivation and study skills could be an important way to advance their competency in math as well as in other subjects."

If your child is having a hard time with math, give yourself time to sit down and learn with him. Make him feel that he's not the only kid who finds the subject difficult, and that he can always improve if he has the heart to do so. Encouragement goes a long way especially when a child is slowly losing confidence, so tell him that it isn’t all about smarts--it's about being motivated, too.

(Photo by Alan Levine via Flickr Creative Commons)

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