Remember this formula: Confidence + Solid Preparation = SUCCESS
With high stakes testing here
to stay, math is more challenging than it’s ever been before.
Follow these tips for a well prepared student who is more confident
of his abilities.
Coach your child to develop a positive Attitude!
One of the most important ways
that a child can do better is simply by having a positive attitude.
Don’t let your child sell themselves short by saying things like,
“I can’t do math; I am no good at math.” If they believe
they can do it, they WILL be able to do math!
Coach your child to ask a lot of questions!
There is nothing embarrassing about asking questions. They will not
look like a “nerd” to their classmates. In fact, their
classmates are probably wanting to ask the same questions, but they
are afraid to ask! It could be that the teacher is not explaining the
math concept fully. Maybe the teacher can explain the concept
in a different way. ASK!
Make sure your child doesn't fall behind!
Your child is building on a base
of math skills and concepts. If they miss something early on,
it gets harder to catch up later. Also, to take the next level
of math courses, they need to master the linear concepts to be successful.
Try tutor services, professional
ones or try a high school student in advanced classes, recommended by
the local high school guidance department. Do not wait until the
child is failing. Consider this an investment,and sign them up as an
additional booster for math. And keep them in the tutor program.
If they“get it”, the tutors will enrich them. Tutors can keep up
by talking to the child’s teacher and sometimes they will get a copy
of the math textbook. Falling behind can lead to feelings of “why
Practice, Practice, Practice!
That’s how we learn anything.
Through repetitive practice. Usually it is not until the child
applies the concepts to real problems that they “get it”.
Practice out in public, on calculations of money everywhere.
Sequences of patterns of cars
on the highway, etc. There are life opportunities to show the
relevance of math in their lives. Coach them to find relevance in the
Build their confidence!
When they do their homework, start
with easier problems or problems you know they can do. Review
simple ideas first, or material they covered a year ago. That
will give them the confidence to approach the more difficult problems.
Coach your child to show their work!
It is tempting for you or your
child to skip steps, but that does not reinforce the concept being developed.
Remember the importance of repetition? It is better they get into
the habit of showing all their work. That way, if there is a mistake,
it is easier to see and correct. You can also detect a pattern
of mistakes and help them immediately. Plus, the student may get
partial credit for a tough problem that is almost correct.
Do NOT ignore wrong answers!
While accuracy is always important,
a wrong answer can tell you, as your child’s coach, to look further
to see if your child really understands the material.
Coach your child to write neatly!!
It is important that your child
organize problems and write numbers and variables clearly, so they do
not confuse either themselves- or the teacher. Sloppy numbers
equal wrong answers!
Use Old-fashioned Flash Cards!
Don’t be afraid to use the tactile
approach. Symbols, equations, and concepts can get overwhelming.
Use flash cards to organize information or test concepts. They can sort
facts into piles, and watch the pile of “don’t knows” get
dwindled down. You can place unknown facts on the refrigerator so they
see them whenever they open the refrig door.
Read the book by Dr. Margaret
Murky, Quirky, Beserky Math, and discuss math feelings and
strategies from this humorous approach to math anxiety.
© Margaret Desjardins