“I’m not good at math” is a refrain most parents and
teachers hear from students who struggle with this subject. The thinking
here is generally that if you aren’t born with an aptitude for math,
you will never be good at it. The good news? Studies show that while natural
talent does give some students an advantage, all students can be great
at math with a little bit of effort.
Math can be learned by everyone; however it’s one of those ‘one
percent inspiration, 99% perspiration’ things which requires concerted
effort to master. One of the biggest problems for students is missing
fundamental building blocks. Each year, teachers assume that your child
understands all of the math from their previous academic years. They just
add on to these foundations so, if your child is missing some underlying
building blocks, they just get further and further behind every year.
Hire an in-home tutor
One of the biggest downsides to an inability to master math is the lack
of confidence it creates in kids. When they get one-on-one tutoring at
home, they are in a safe environment where they can ask questions and
speak out when they don’t understand. Tutors can help to find those
missing building blocks and fill in the gaps so your child can catch up
and keep up.
‘I can’t do math’ is simply not true; everyone can learn
to do math so outlaw these sentences in your home. It may also be a good
idea to show the practical applications of math in the real world as well
as the opportunities having math presents for college applications. Students
who feel like they will never use math after school will find it difficult
to motivate themselves to learn.
study for Purdue University, Patricia Linehan found that students either believed that they could
improve their math abilities through practice and study or that they were
just ‘bad at math’. Studies show that students who practices
math with a positive attitude will see an improvement so a change in thinking
is the first step to success.
Use math every day
Whether you are getting your child to measure out ingredients for a recipe,
calculate a tip on a restaurant bill or project the earnings they will
make on their paper route, using math every day will help them to understand
abstract concepts and will provide great opportunities for practicing
their math skills.
Free math apps abound for every grade and every new math concept that your
child must master. You can get a really great overview of the apps from our blog
When it comes to math, natural ability does factor in to a small degree,
but everyone can learn math and get great grades if they study hard and
practice. Changing attitudes, filling in missing building blocks, daily
practice and offering rewards for improvements will all contribute to
turning your child into a math genius!
pic by Woodley Wonderworks