For many adults, the mere thought of math brings back memories of misery. When it comes to helping your own child with math, especially if your child is struggling, it can be tough to overcome your own math phobia.
Take a deep breath and step back. Math is a skill like any other. No one is born “bad” at math or “good” at math. Sure, it comes easier to some people. But, consistent practice and mastery of concepts will make any student “good” at math. The catch? If you have a child who is struggling with math, you will have to get creative to help them turn things around. It can be done!
4 Outside Of The Box ideas For Children Struggling With Math:
- Let them teach. One of the best ways to help a child gain confidence as they are learning math is to have them teach what they’re learning to someone else. If you have children close in age, you can have them teach each other. Otherwise, you be the student. Pretend you know nothing, ask lots of questions, ask for demonstrations, have your child give and correct homework.
- Use technology. There are hundreds of free and low cost apps and online sites that offer fun math games that reinforce basics in an appealing way. Incorporate some of these into regular homework sessions. Breaking up math sessions with game time and other activities lessens the tediousness of rote drills.
- Get hands on. For many kids, seeing math makes all the difference. With young children, let them practice math facts with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. Inside, use a small dry erase board for math practice. These simple changes can be surprisingly effective. When possible, find ways to show M&M math is fun. You can also purchase manipulatives specifically designed to teach math. With older kids who learn in a visual and/or hands-on way, look into the Math-U-See program – they have excellent manipulatives that illustrate algebra and geometry clearly.
- Step back. If math continues to be an ongoing struggle, consider one of the vast online special education resources available. Look into online tutoring – particularly if math has become a daily conflict between you and your child. Whether your child is struggling with a new concept or has specific special needs, a neutral third-party can alleviate a lot of stress.
Math may never be your child’s favorite subject but, it needn’t be a source of misery. You know your child best. If one approach to a concept isn’t working don’t give up. Try new ways until you figure out together the most effective way to master the topic.