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News from Mathnasium of Huntersville

6 Things Making Kids Successful in Math This Year

Nov 17, 2020

Originally published to our sister learning center, Mathnasium of Mooresville's website, courtesy of Paige Konsul, Center Director of Mathnasium of Mooresville.

We know this year has had its challenges, one new challenge being virtual schooling. With many of the nation’s largest school districts being fully remote, a lot of students are feeling behind and overwhelmed in their math learning and parents are feeling more and more frustrated and helpless. Instead of feeling defeated, we found 6 key steps that are helping students thrive in math  this year! We hope these simple steps can encourage you to make the most out of this year and grow your child’s math knowledge , even if it’s through a webcam.


  1. Communicate about your child’s math learning

    Studies show that talking to your child about expectations, showing support, discussing assignments and work, parents participating in school activities, and parents emphasizing education are all positively correlated with student success (Tan, Lyu, & Peng, 2020). Who knew that simply talking with your child about how they are doing in school could encourage them so much? Getting involved and finding out where your student is in their math learning is a vital part in building the pathway to success! As much as we all want our students to be independent learners, the support and interest you show can help open the door for them to share their successes and failures, and help support them through the unique challenges of this year.

  2. Reduce Distractions

    A study done by the University of Nebraska shows that in a survey of 675 students, students check their phones eleven times during class and spend about 20% of their class period on their device (McCoy, 2016). In virtual learning, this can be even more detrimental to a student’s learning since they are using their computers and phones as the source of their learning. Finding clean, quiet areas can be a key to helping your students focus on the lesson without distraction.
  3. Build Confidence

    With in-person positive reinforcement in limited supply this year, encouraging words and incentives can help prevent a student from giving up on their work. Encouraging your child with feedback such as “Good work” or “You’re so good at math,” can help kids feel confident in their learning and encourage them to continue to work hard. 
  4. Create Incentives 

    Following up on building confidence;creating incentives can help to inspire motivation. Parents should not only use words to affirm their child’s progress but should also offer rewards for hard work. Allowing a snack at the end of class for maintaining  focus and attention, giving them breaks in between homework assignments, or allowing kids to play a bit a longer may be ways to build endurance for the long haul. Another way to motivate students might be to enroll them in a learning center with a  system in-place for rewarding hard work; they often have great incentives!
  5. Create a Routine- and Stick To It

    Creating a routine can help build efficiency and create comfort for you and your child. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it can help ease some of the anxiety and allow your child to focus on their lesson. According to Judy Zinmy, the Vice President of National Institute for STEM Education, the predictability of a schedule not only reduces stress but helps to improve relationships with parents and teachers by allowing students to feel valued and important (Zimny, 2020). 
  6. Ask for Help

    Probably the most important of all our tips is reaching out for help. Without a student asking questions, teachers may never know your child is not fully grasping the topic. Particularly now, when nonverbal cues are harder to read in a virtual setting compared to the classroom. Sometimes it requires more than asking questions, sometimes it may be spending extra time on the topic or receiving supplemental instruction. Consider getting plugged in somewhere that allows for that time and extra questions such as a learning center. Whatever it may be, allowing that time for growth and deeper understanding is essential. The famous novelist, Thomas Berger, once wrote “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”