With time for the first set of report cards and parent-teacher conferences nearly there, here are some tips to ensure your child's school year is set on a path to success. As you go for these conferences, don’t forget to sit with your children and reflect upon their academic goals as well as challenges faced so far. Once children fall behind, either in their grades or their motivation, it is an uphill tasks to catch up later. Observe and ask questions like- What are their study habits? How are their homework routines going? Are they practicing their math every night? These questions help you ensure your child gains more independence with their studying habits and better grades will follow.
Here are 5 things you can do to increase your child’s Math Confidence in this school year:
- Setting ‘Math’ Goals for our Children- Create an environment that is fun and supportive for your child. Ask your child to create a poster listing all personal goals (sports or arts accomplishments) and professional goals (grades and other academic accomplishments). Visual cues act as reminders and helps the motivation. Then ask them to add their ‘Math Goals’ for the year. Throughout the year, this will help you remind them what they set out to do in this year!
- Math Homework- It’s imperative to review the homework schedule and make any adjustments if necessary. Are math homework assignments being turned in on-time? Does the order in which math homework is being prioritized need to change? Mathnasium is one of the few learning centers that not only can support homework challenges, our focus is more long term to ensure they build a solid foundation and over time become more independent.
- Mathematical Facts e.g. times tables- Children from kindergarten to senior year of high school should be reviewing their math facts every chance they get. Math facts are concepts that can be instantly recalled without resorting to strategies. Many times, basic math facts like understanding times tables are placed on the back burner throughout the school year, but it’s a very valuable skill that should be done weekly.
- Quizzes and Tests- It’s important that your child understands how to use their studying time efficiently. Reviewing old math quizzes and tests is a great way to begin evaluating repetitive mistakes. Look for trends- are they making ‘clueless’ mistakes or more of ‘careless’ mistakes? While careless mistakes can be reduced by regular math practice, clueless mistakes mean your child needs expert help in math concepts! Are some of the mistakes indicative of gaps in some pre-requisite topics. E.g. if they struggle in Algebra, many times it can be traced to their insufficient fluency with fractions and integer concepts.
- Problem Solving- One area that many students struggle with are Word problems. Sometimes a child can solve the problem, but they are unable to explain the reason for how they solved it. With Common Core, it is NOT enough to give the right answer, they have to be able to show their thinking process and steps they used to arrive at the right answer.
Giving your child a sense of math vocabulary is a wonderful way to develop problem-solving skills. Consider creating math problems where a child has to use a few math words in order to explain the solution. Combine concepts to make sure they can cross-reference their math concepts.
For example, if they know their decimals, fractions, and percentages well, ask them an easy question first like “The family dinner at the restaurant cost you $75 and you want to leave a 15% gratuity. What dollar amount of tip would you leave?”
If they get that right, progress to a medium difficulty question like “Midway second quarter of the football game, how much of the game is left?”
Having fun with math is a great way to bring about a lot of change in a child’s math confidence.
So make sure to ask your child to have a Math Resolution for 2018 and make sure that the goal is within reach as well as stimulating and exciting.
For more on what you can do to help your child with math-whether they are struggling in it or they want to stay ahead(and aspire to be in advanced classes), contact us at the Mathnasium of Brunswick. We have a unique Common Core aligned curriculum that not only supports them in their school goals, but also sets them for success in long term.
We can help develop solid math confidence in your child backed by better grades! While we cannot make every student into an A+ student, we can promise you that their Math performance and confidence will be better than what they had before. That is the promise of our ‘Mathnasium Method’.
Come check it out for a free no-obligation Math skills assessment at our center today. Call at 732 317 8761 or email to [email protected] to set up a time to come in.