# Free Algebra Help for Kids: Do Better in Algebra

For some students who struggle with algebra, the problem is a lack of foundational skills. Other students have trouble visualizing abstract algebra concepts. Keep reading for tips and tricks to overcome these challenges!

## Help with Algebra

### Building Basic Skills

Succeeding in algebra requires a solid foundation in basic math skills, like number operations, decimals, factors and multiples. If you're lacking these skills, you're likely to struggle with algebra. Keep reading to learn about these skills and a few others you'll need to succeed in algebra, as well as suggestions for practicing them.

#### Operations

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with positive and negative numbers are critical skills for success in algebra. Just one tiny mistake with a sign can throw off a whole problem. Keep in mind that when you multiply or divide numbers with like signs, the answer is positive, and when you multiply or divide two numbers with opposite signs, the answer is negative. If possible, use a number line to help you solve addition and subtraction problems with negative integers.

#### Factors and Multiples

Having a strong grasp of factors and multiples is another important skill for algebra. For instance, when you learn about polynomials in high school, you'll need to apply your knowledge of factoring to succeed. The ability to work with factors and multiples comes from a strong grasp of the basic multiplication tables (ones through nines). It also helps to memorize the multiplication tables for 10, 11, 12 and 15.

You'll also need to have a good understanding of radicals and exponents when you study algebra. You'll use radicals when you learn about the Pythagorean theorem and the quadratic equation.

It will help to memorize all of the common perfect squares, like 16, 64, 144 and so on. If you're allowed to use a calculator in class, be sure you know how to use it to calculate any root of any number (like the seventh root of 489) and any number to any power (like 5 to the 43rd power).

### Conceptual Understanding

Sometimes students struggle with algebra because they perceive it as abstract or even meaningless. It can be very difficult to learn and remember something when you don't understand how it applies to the real world. If that sounds like you, then there's good news: lots of real-world problems can be represented and solved using algebra, and almost any made-up algebra problem can be related to the real world.

It's common for teachers to teach about algebra and have students practice it using abstract examples because it's more efficient. However, if you're struggling, ask your teacher or a parent to give you a real-world example of something that a given equation could represent.

It can also be helpful to keep in mind that the purpose of all equations is to represent a line on a graph, which in turn might represent a relationship between two things. Each part of the equation is there to tell you something about the line the equation represents.

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