Math is undoubtedly a difficult subject to fully comprehend. One week, teachers are teaching algebra, a couple of weeks later they’re teaching about square roots, and then in another couple of weeks, they are teaching division & multiplication. Some students are quick to adjust to new topics and ideas, but others have a tough time understanding fresh concepts. Each passing year, your child will learn new and more advanced mathematics concepts, and if they are struggling now, they may have an even harder time later in their school career. Here are three common reasons why children struggle with math:
The traditional way of teaching math is as follows: a concept is introduced to the students, the teacher presents them with the chance to practice their skills/ ask for guidance if they are struggling, and then the teacher moves on to the next topic. The following topic generally relates to the previous classes, and the students are encouraged to incorporate what they’ve just learned into the next lesson. While this works for many students, the students that do not speak up and voice their misunderstanding may have a very difficult time moving forward.
As a parent, asking your child to explain their homework to you is a great way of making sure that your child is learning at a steady pace; if your child demonstrates a complete lack of understanding, be sure to have a talk with their teacher or seek additional mathematics help.
Much like a student learning English must be able to differentiate a colon from a semicolon and a period from a comma, students must be able to differentiate mathematic symbols. Students must be able to separate ‘+” signs from ‘÷’ signs, but most importantly, they must be able to understand why these signs are important. It’s not enough to memorize that ‘x’ means multiplication, but they must understand what it means to multiply a number. Memorizing can help a child comprehend math theory, but it cannot teach them how or why a symbol performs its function. If your child can differentiate math symbols but is unsure of how to use them, it may be time to seek supplemental help.
Students are not anxiously waiting to go home to complete complicating math homework. They would much rather go for a bike ride or hang out with their friends; however if a student is struggling. It is important that they practice on their own, even if it is only for 30 minutes a night. Yes, your teacher will not be there to assist you and guide you down the path to correct answers, but this presents your child with the opportunity to learn through trial and error. Even if they fail, they can bring their problems to their teacher the next day for further instruction.