5 Ways to Become a Better Math Student
Ever heard the phrase “anyone can do math”? Well, anyone can do math, but it is more challenging for some students. For some people math comes natural, for others, it is seems to be a relentless task. All across the nation, math standards are being raised.
Students are expected to do more and perform better. What if your child is struggling?
Here are a few ways to become a better math student.
1. Pay attention in class - All too often, students fail to pay attention in class. Most of the time it isn’t really their fault. Possibly, when a student first fails to understand a concept, he will shut down
as he thinks there is no use. Encourage your child to continue to pay attention because many students have a difficult time understanding the beginning of a concept. If they will simply hang in and be persistent oftentimes it all comes together, and then the “light bulb comes on”.
2. Talk to your child’s teacher - As a teacher, I can assure you that we do not mind consulting with you. We do not take it personally when a student does not understand a lesson. Go ahead and set up a
conference, or just make a phone call. Sometimes, simply knowing the parent is involved with the student will encourage the teacher to pay more attention to the learning style of the child. Also, as you talk to the teacher, ask the teacher if there is a way your child can get a copy of the notes, so that he can listen more in class, rather than trying to copy
problems and listen at the same time. With today’s technology, that is not as hard as it used to be.
3. Have your child explain concepts to you - Even though he may not do a perfect job, he will learn from it. I can assure you that I learned a lot more about math as I taught it, than I ever did from sitting in a
classroom. This simple strategy will engage the student’s mind, and transform him from a passive learner to an active one. Another advantage to this strategy is that as he talks aloud about the concept he will be better able to identify the gaps. And, as you listen and learn yourself, you will find that it is possible for you to help him fill in those gaps.
4. Peak your child’s interest in math - We all know that we learn things that interest us much better than those that bore us. Help your child find practical uses for mathematics. Find television shows that
encourage the use of mathematics. A great one is the CBS series Numb3rs. Incorporate mathematical strategies into your everyday life. Let your student help reconcile your bank statement; figure out how much money he can save in different savings plans; find the best values at the grocery store; calculate the amount a new video game (including tax) may cost and how much he would need to save each week to be able to purchase it; and finally point out every case in which math comes up in your life. These are just a few ways to incorporate math, as you begin to look, you will find numerous others.
5. Hire a tutor - Sometimes a child needs one-on-one instruction. Even if a tutor explains a concept the exact same way as the student’s teacher, it makes a difference when the focus is completely on him, rather than divided among the other 30 or so students in the room. Your child will be much more willing to ask questions with a tutor and not be afraid to admit when he doesn’t understand.
Be sure the tutor is able to incorporate the above strategies into each session. In today’s time, online tutoring is booming, a huge advantage to this is the neat and interesting ways math is learned over the internet. But, make sure the tutor is willing to stay in contact with you and discuss the needs of the child.
Finally, all students can learn mathematics. All that has to happen is to find the best way for your child to learn. Online tutoring will be able to pull this out of your child.
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