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When Your Child Just Doesn't Get Math

by Melissa Spicer (931 views)
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When Your Child Just Doesn't "Get" Math

Math is a difficult subject for many people to master, and if your child is struggling with math and just doesn't "get" math, then you are not alone. Perhaps you have your own math struggles and feel powerless to help your child. While a good tutoring program, whether in person or online, is a good start to helping your child conquer his math demons, there are additional things you can do to help.

Get a Full Picture of the Problem

Knowing your child struggles with math is one thing; learning just how minor or serious the problem is can be another thing altogether. Having your child assessed in math is a good way to get a full grip of what he understands and where his struggles lie. By having your child tested (or providing the tests at home for him to take), you can get a true picture of his weak areas and areas of strength, so tutoring and extra help for your child can be tailored to his specific needs.

Focus On Areas of Weakness

The problem with falling behind in math is that concepts build upon one another. If your child fails to master multiplication facts, for example, this will haunt your child when he goes to work on algebra in high school, since these facts need to be "down pat" in order for him to grasp other concepts in more elevated math classes. List out your child's weak areas, and seek out help for those areas. If you can't provide the help yourself, seek out a competent tutor that can present the material in a way that helps your child learn.

Don't Be Afraid to Rewind

If your child has made it to sixth grade and is still working on fourth grade math concepts, that's totally fine. Don't be afraid to rewind the clock and help your child learn those basic concepts that he needs to move forward. Math is difficult; there's no shame in needing help. Be sure that your child learns each grade's particular concepts before progressing, regardless of whether his school has passed him on through. There is a specific order in which math should be learned, and if your child skips anything in the order, he will come up short later on. For instance, he needs to learn division before tackling fractions, and he needs to learn to add and subtract fractions before tackling decimals. It's a process, and it must be followed for the pieces of the puzzle to click.

Provide Extra Resources

Tutoring is essential for kids who struggle with math. Likewise, workbooks that give your child extra practice can be a big help. There are tons of great workbooks available for today's learners, and there are an equally large number of free printable worksheets online that you can access at no cost. Take advantage of these types of sheets to help your child master each math concept or address those concepts that give him the biggest headache.

Above all, have patience, but don't be complacent about your child's math problems. Even if you have difficulty in math yourself, remind your child that math fitness is similar to physical fitness. It takes time and effort.