‘When Kids Get Stuck on a Math Idea, They Aren’t Likely to Speak Up’
As we head into the second half of the school, new math ideas are coming at students every day. Math builds from one concept to the next, so falling behind becomes worse as the year wears on.
If a child is having a hard time keeping up in math, it’s important to act now. Fortunately, there are many tell-tale signs that a child is falling behind—parents simply need to know what to look for.
When kids get stuck on a math idea, they aren’t likely to speak up. They’ll often just sit there, fall behind, and then become frustrated with their homework and classwork. Eventually, they can simply give up. Clearly, it’s important that parents address this problem early on so they can take the necessary steps to get their children back on track. The first step is recognizing that a problem exists.
Below are six signs that suggest a child is struggling with math.
- Math grades lagging, but student has good grades in other subjects.
- Low self-esteem about math, with child making comments like: “I’m no good at math.”
- Missing key milestones. Addition/subtraction should be mastered by end of 2nd or 3rd grade, multiplication and division by the end of 3rd—4th grade, fluency with fractions at the end of 5th—6th grade.
- Physical signs like counting on fingers suggest poor retention of number facts.
- Comments from the child’s teacher about “not working up to his or her full potential.”
- Child seems “bored” with math.
If a child shows any these signs, there are several things parents can do. Seeking help from the student’s teacher is an obvious first choice. Offering to help the child more closely with homework is another. And, of course, enrolling in an after-school math program like Mathnasium is another option that brings professional help to the situation.