Elementary Math Help: 5th and 6th Grade

Mathematics classes get increasingly difficult towards the end of elementary school. Learn how to help your fifth and sixth grade students improve their math skills.

Find available tutors

The fifth and sixth grades mark the end of elementary school. From there students move on to a middle school or junior high where they will encounter more demanding subjects and lessons. In order for your child to succeed in the new environment, they need to fully understand the skills that are presented to them in elementary school. Fifth and sixth grade math puts a heavy focus on pre-algebra and geometry skills as well as probability.

Be aware of the resources available to you and your child. A professional tutor can help alleviate the stress of learning at home. Since both both you and your child feel invested in your child's success, it's easy for tension to arise. Qualified outside help can work wonders. Taking your child to a tutoring center is another great option. And look into the many online tutoring services out there. Check out the educational computer programs and games available. A bit of fun can make learning a lot easier, especially when a child is having a hard time remaining motivated..

You don't need to have a computer. There are many simple activities you can do together to help your child get the hang of math. One of the first things a child encounters in the early stages of algebra is the order of operations. They'll need to master it in order to determine the value of a variable. If x+5=9, then what is x? It's just addition and subtraction presented in a new way,really. Use beans or macaroni to solve it. Put a pile of nine on the table, then ask your child to make two piles out of it: one for the five in the equation, one for the x. The answer will quickly become clear.

Children in fifth and sixth grades are learning about angles, triangles and other shapes. Take out the protractor at home. Encourage your child to draw various angles and triangles and properly label them, then use them in a picture. Make three dimensional shapes out of straws and pipe cleaners. See who can make the largest object, or construct a specific shape the fastest.

Probability experiments are also easy to create at home. Ask your child to count how many times out of fifty a tossed coin will land on heads. Explain that because there are two sides to a coin, each toss has a 50/50 chance of landing on heads and the same chances for landing on tails. You can conduct similar experiments with dice. When you're done, help your student create a chart or graph to represent the results. Your child should be practicing probability experiments and learning graphs in school so they should be able to tell you what type of graph is most appropriate to plot the given data.

Be sure your child spends enough time on their homework. Talk with their teachers to see approximately how long it should take students to complete a given assignment. If it seems that your child is struggling, ask what parts of the problem he does not understand. Read through it with him and watch him carry it out, step by step, and identify him weaknesses. If you feel out of your element, a homework help website could be the answer. These sites provide students with explanations for mathematical concepts but don't answer any homework problems for them.

Fifth and sixth grade math can be a major stumbling block in your child's academic career. By monitoring their homework and helping them with fun activities, you will be helping them to excel.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    MIND Games Lead to Math Gains

    Imagine a math teaching tool so effective that it need only be employed twice per week for less than an hour to result in huge proficiency gains. Impossible, you say? Not so...and MIND Research Institute has the virtual penguin to prove it.

  • More Blog Articles
    Should Math Be a Main Focus in Kindergarten?

    Should kindergartners put away the building blocks and open the math books? According to recent research, earlier is better when it comes to learning mathematical concepts. But that could put undue pressure on kids, parents and even teachers.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth