If you’re wondering how your child is doing in math, you can start by asking them directly. This lets them know that their math progress is important to you, and it may begin a conversation that they didn’t know how to start. But even if they’re willing to have that talk, they may not be totally transparent about how they’re doing in the classroom, especially if they’re feeling frustrated, lost, or overwhelmed by math. Knowing the signs to look out for will allow you to get them the math help they need.
1. Negative comments about math
It’s not uncommon for a child to say that they don’t like a certain subject. But if you’re hearing your child say repeatedly that they hate math or that math is boring, they probably have not been learning it in a way that makes sense to them. Many children will even decide from a very young age that they just aren’t good at math. But people aren’t wired to be “good” or “bad” at math; some just haven’t learned it the right way. Enrolling them in a math-learning program outside of school could be what they need to achieve success and gain confidence.
2. Teacher showing concern
If your child is having difficulty understanding certain concepts or applying them correctly, or if their grades are consistently low, their teacher may alert you. Take advantage of the fact that your child’s success is important to the teacher. You can work together to determine what steps are necessary to turn things around. The sooner you get help for your child, the sooner they’ll be able to catch up with the class.
3. Difficulty with concepts from earlier years
Because math concepts build upon each other, anything that a child failed to learn or skipped over will continue to be problematic as new material is presented. At first, a child may get away with moving through math class without understanding all the material, but as concepts become more difficult, the gaps in their learning will become evident.
4. Math grades lower than in other subjects
If your child is normally a high performer and they’re getting good grades in every subject but math, it’s a clear sign that they’re struggling. They may be avoiding the one subject that’s giving them a hard time — math — and putting all their focus on the subjects in which they know they’ll do well.
5. Anxiety around math
Sometimes a child may not outwardly express negative feelings about math, but their discomfort can show through in other ways. If your child grows anxious or upset when asked to solve math problems, whether it be in school or at home, they’re letting it be known that they’re not confident with their math knowledge. Even if what is being taught makes sense to them at first, they may feel lost when it comes to practical application.
The good news is that once you’ve recognized your child is struggling, you can get them the help they need. For instruction that targets their specific issues, consider going beyond hiring a math tutor and enrolling your child in a math-learning program with a history of setting children on the right path toward academic success.
Mathnasium Learning Centers start students off with an individual assessment which pinpoints a child’s exact strengths and weaknesses. A customized learning plan is then created, detailing the specific math concepts the child needs to catch up, keep up, and even get ahead. Attentive, highly trained instructors teach students face-to-face at the pace that’s right for them. And both in-center and online learning is available.
Once a child develops confidence in their knowledge of the concepts, they have the potential to enjoy tremendous success in math. By responding to your child’s need for help, you’re opening doors to higher achievement and helping them reach their full potential.