Mathematics can be a very difficult subject for children in school. Preventing mathematical struggles early helps children to enjoy math, greatly increasing their chances of being successful in the subject throughout their high school years. If a child begins to struggle in math and the issue is ignored, the child could continue to have problems with math for years, potentially requiring an army of tutors and years of summer school. Every parent is capable of setting their children up for success.
Study Math with the Child Every Day
Every single day should involve a one-on-one math lesson at home. If the child finds math to be relatively easy and he or she needs minimal assistance, the child can “teach” the parent the same math lesson learned in school that day. The child can do a set of problems, explaining why he or she worked them out with a particular formula. If the child has a wonderful grasp, this process could take less than 10 minutes. For children who are having some minor issues, the parent needs to solve problems with the child until he or she has a firm grasp. The lesson should be fun and stress free for the child, perhaps involving candy or fun projects.
Using Math Tools Frequently
There are dozens of fun math tools available for parents. Videos are one great instructional tool, as they sometimes use cartoons and fun stories to help children to relate to math. Other tools, such as centimeter cubes, help the child to visualize the problem. These cubes could be used for nearly any type of math including: measurements, fractions, division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction. Learning can always be made fun with extra tools.
Finding and Targeting Mathematical Weaknesses
When the child brings home his or her graded tests and homework, the parent should look through the papers to see where his or her child stands in math. Even near perfect grades can hint at a particular weakness, such as a child who missed every single word problem but excelled with every other problem. Once these weaknesses are identified, the parent should work diligently with the child to solve the problems. These small issues can manifest in later years, when mathematics become much more complicated.
Math might be a universal language, but it can be difficult for some children. If parents work hard to keep their children up to speed, it becomes less likely that the child will have significant problems in the future. Being proficient in the foundations of math will be important for the rest of his or her life.