Pat yourselves on the back for surviving the first week back at school! Hooray!
For many kids and families, that first initial week back can be stressful and a little (or a lot) chaotic. It can take a while for kids to get back into the groove of the new school year and school in general. They have new teachers with different teaching styles and methods, new subjects, new faces in their classes and new routines. They may even be attending a brand-new school. It’s a lot to take in, and well let’s be honest…it can be overwhelming for even the most confident student.
With a brand-new year of math learning ramping up soon, having solid study habits is crucial to any child’s math success, and success in school overall.
To help make sure your child starts off the year on a solid foundation, here are 6 effective study tips for children at any learning level:
1. Identify the areas your child needs to work on
If you or your child is not 100% clear on the areas they need to work on, studying will have no impact, and could further diminish your child’s confidence in the process. To concretely determine the areas your child needs to work on:
- Speak with your child’s math teacher and determine what needs to be improved on this school year. Loop in the previous year’s teacher too to ensure that nothing is missed.
- Find out if there are any standardized tests this year, so that your child is aware of them, and has time to prepare for these.
- Schedule a math assessment, comprehensive written and verbal assessment at your local Mathnasium Learning Centre. Our assessment will pinpoint your child's unique learning needs, and our team will develop a customized learning plan with your child's goals in mind. You can share these insights and the learning plan with your school to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your child’s math learning.
- Be sure to include your child wherever possible in these conversions so that they are part of the process and are made aware that this is a priority for them.
2. Make achievable math goals for the current school year
Armed with a strong understanding of areas that your child needs to work on or needs more support in, you can now create a list of realistic improvement goals for the upcoming year. To help your child make math learning goals that they can be proud to achieve, sit and talk with your children about how they’re feeling about school and math so far. Here are some guidelines for this important conversation:
- Encourage honesty and listen to what they are saying. Regardless if kids are ahead of the curve or falling behind, it can be really difficult for them to admit their true feelings to a parent or guardian. By setting the tone for openness, being attentive, and letting them know that you’re their personal cheerleader, you will be creating a supportive environment for them to open up and be honest with you.
- Promote a balanced outlook on math learning by asking them to contemplate pros and cons about math class and math in general.
- Remind your child of the big picture so they recognize the long-term benefits of a strong foundation in math. Entering higher levels of education and the workforce with solid math skills and number sense can make all the difference in terms of future learning, earning power and professional growth, especially with so many amazing jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
3, Develop an study action plan
Now that you’ve figured out which areas your child needs to focus study time on, it’s time to attack! For this, you need a concrete action plan. Here are some tips for creating an action plan:
- A study action plan must include needs of your child with input from them, their teacher, and whoever else is providing math support, whether that be a private math tutor or a math learning centre like Mathnasium of Newmarket.
- Don’t focus on too many things at once – it overcomplicates the plan, making it impossible to achieve.
- Make sure core competencies are addressed before skipping ahead to new topics. Your child’s teacher, math tutor or math tutoring centre can provide guidance on these core competencies.
- Keep your child on track and encourage daily accountability by implementing a set study time and making sure important dates and assignments are on the calendar. And don’t forget to emphasize that diligent work overtime can drive awesome results—we’ve seen this happen time and time again at Mathnasium of Newmarket!
- When you include a math learning centre like us in your child’s math learning journey, we make developing an action plan simpler and easier by designing and implementing a customized learning plan that will fill in any gaps and ensure a strong foundation of math knowledge.
4. Maintain an ongoing positive attitude
When negativity clouds experiences, it’s difficult to improve in any subject. This is why it’s key to make sure your child maintains a positive attitude toward math, even when the going is tough. Here are some tips for keeping and helping to foster a positive attitude:
- Do not focus on past negative experiences. Instead, work with your child to figure out where he or she went wrong on their latest homework, test or assignment, discuss it with them, and move on.
- Celebrate their achievements and progress! As soon as their first improved test or homework grade comes in, tell them how proud you are. With improvement and understanding comes increased confidence. It won’t be long before your child is looking forward to their math class and math tutoring sessions!
5. Make time for math
Your child’s math success is heavily influenced by what happens outside the school classroom, especially during homework and home study time.
- Communicate with your child about the importance of making time for math outside of school and that it is a priority for the whole family.
- Get involved in their homework and home study time, whenever possible.
- Help promote a positive learning environment, even when things get tough.
- Set aside enough time to focus on homework and math practice at home. The time needed will be influenced by their math learning goals for the year. If you’re not sure how much time is needed, speak with their school teach, math tutor, or a math learning centre like us.
- Get a math tutor and schedule math tutoring sessions in advance so that they are booked and on the calendar for the next few months. Regular and frequent attendance is key for your child to get ahead or stay on task.
6. Have fun!
Math should be fun, and it can be if it’s approached the right way at home and at a math tutoring centre.
- There are also so many ways of incorporating math into your home life so your child can practice their math skills while doing fun things, like playing board games, shipping, sports, cooking and crafting.
- Here at Mathnasium of Newmarket, we use proprietary curriculum to ensures math learning and math tutoring is fun, lighthearted and thorough. This is one of the reasons we are effective in making math make sense.
For more tips and fun ways to practice math at home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and make sure you stop by the centre for a chat—we’re happy to serve as a community resource for all things math.