Algebra 1 Help for Struggling Students
Most students take algebra 1 during 8th grade or freshman year of high school. If your child is struggling in his or her algebra class, keep reading for an overview of the algebra 1 curriculum and studying tips.
How to Help Your Struggling Student with Algebra
Variables
A variable is an unknown quantity in an equation, like the 'x' in 4x + 3 = 23. If your child struggles with solving for a variable, it could be because he or she doesn't follow the proper process. Here's one rule your child should always remember: What you do to one side of an equation, you must do to the other side.
The first step is always to isolate the variable. So, in the example above, you would subtract three from both sides, like this:
4x + 3  3 = 23  3
Now your equation should be 4x = 20. Next, you'll divide both sides by four.
4x ÷ 4 = 20 ÷ 4
And that's it! The answer is x = 5. Walk your student through these steps the first time. Then, find a similar problem and watch while your child tries to solve it on his or her own. More complex problems may include two variables. However, regardless of how complex the problem is, your child should follow the same basic process to solve for a variable.
Graphing
Another important algebra 1 skill is graphing. In order to graph an equation, it needs to be in slopeintercept form, which is y = mx + b. Here, m represents the line's slope and b represents the yintercept, which is where the line intersects with the yaxis.
If your child struggles with graphing equations, first make sure that he or she can identify each part. On a piece of paper, write the equation y = mx + b, and then ask him or her to identify the slope and the yintercept.
Sometimes, your child will have to rearrange an equation so that it's in slopeintercept form. Below is an example of how to rearrange the equation y + 5 = 4x.
y + 5 = 4x
y + 5  5 = 4x  5
y = 4x  5
Now your child can graph this equation. Using graph paper to keep everything neat and organized, your child should first draw the x and yaxes. Then, locate the yintercept on the graph. In the equation above, the yintercept is 5. From there, your child can reconstruct the line using the slope. Because the slope is four (or 4/1), your child can count up four spaces and move one space to the right. Connect these two points to reconstruct the line.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In

For many students, algebra inspires apprehension and dread. Today, students are increasingly dependent on tools, such as iPads and even their phones, that can do the work of algebra for them. This makes the job of a teacher trying to convey algebra's importance difficult. Yet there are still ways to make algebra relevant,...

One plus one will always equal two...but just how students are taught math is going to change. Nearly every state in the country has adopted the Common Core Standards; for math, this means new and more indepth approaches to teaching the subject. Have we seen the last of traditional algebra and geometry classes?
We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In
Huntington Learning
 What Huntington Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 One on one tutoring
 Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
K12
 What K12 offers:
 Online tutoring
 Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
 AdvancEDaccredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Kaplan Kids
 What Kaplan Kids offers:
 Online tutoring
 Customized learning plans
 RealTime Progress Reports track your child's progress
Kumon
 What Kumon offers:
 Incenter tutoring
 Individualized programs for your child
 Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
Sylvan Learning
 What Sylvan Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
 Regular assessment and progress reports
Tutor Doctor
 What Tutor Doctor offers:
 InHome tutoring
 One on one attention by the tutor
 Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
TutorVista
 What TutorVista offers:
 Online tutoring
 Student works oneonone with a professional tutor
 Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations