Many children, and even some parents, struggle with math, so don’t feel badly if this is a reality in your home. It’s nothing unheard of for the home educated and the school educated alike. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. Then try these 5 ways to help when your child is struggling with math:
Nothing makes trouble with math worse than having a parent who doesn’t understand your frustration and confusion. Let your child know you understand and will help him. If you have a story or two to tell about an education-related difficulty you’ve had in the past, hearing it may make him feel even better.
Try out different books.
Sometimes difficulty with math is simply a matter of a poor fit between the child and the curriculum. Go ahead and try out different math books to see if you can find one that’s better for your child’s learning style. You might find some math texts to try out at the library or locate sample pages online. Maybe other homeschoolers would let you flip through their books to see how they’re set up. At the very least, you may find online recommendations of math books that work for different learning styles.
Incorporate hands-on activities and games.
Sometimes children struggle with math because the concepts seem so abstract. Incorporate hands-on activities that involve measuring, calculation, using money, and comparing. Play board games that require the use of math and use plenty of manipulatives. Don’t forget about computer math games. Such games provide extra practice and have the added benefit of being fun for your kid. With some games, she may even forget she’s doing math.
Get your child to use math in everyday activities.
Does your child like to cook? There’s plenty of math involved in cooking, especially if you use recipes. What about shopping? Take him along to the grocery store and let him help you figure out discounts, the value of coupons and tax. The same thing goes for restaurants. Let him help you calculate the tax and tips. Don’t overlook other math opportunities, such as reviewing your electric, gas, and water bills and measuring your windows for new curtains.
Consider a tutor.
If your child is really struggling with math and you’re at a loss for how to help him, give a tutor a try. Sometimes having a fresh perspective and a new approach can make a big difference.
Most children struggle with math from time to time. Try the above advice for getting through the rough patches. Have a tip for helping a child who is struggling with math? Tell us in the comments!