How to Teach Elementary Remedial Math

Students who need remedial math help often encounter difficulties learning with traditional math methods. Many have trouble remembering math facts and the processes used to solve math problems. Read on to find out ways that you can help your child with remedial math learning.

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Teaching Your Child Remedial Math at Home

Identifying the Problem

Before you begin helping your child, it's often best to talk to his or her math teacher to get an idea of why your child is struggling with math in the first place. A low math grade could simply be a sign that your child is not paying attention in class or is failing to turn in her homework. However, it could also be due to a learning disability.

Some students struggle with math because they suffer from dyscalculia. Rather than describing a specific set of symptoms, this term refers to a broad range of learning disabilities that cause difficulty comprehending the symbols and concepts of mathematics. It can include problems processing language related to math, as well as difficulty visualizing spatial relationships. Students who have dysgraphia (difficulty writing) may also struggle with math because they have trouble with the physical act of writing down problems and answers.

Planning Your Intervention

The type of help your child needs at home very much depends on why he or she is struggling with math. If your child's problem is simply focusing in class or getting homework done, his or her teacher can suggest strategies to address it. However, if your child's teacher suspects that he or she may have a learning disability, the teacher will organize testing and create an action plan.

At home, you can help your child by creating a dedicated learning space that is clutter-free and away from distractions. You can also help by maintaining a positive attitude about your child's accomplishments, rather than focusing on his or her shortcomings. In many cases, remedial students can become discouraged, so helping your child gain confidence in math is crucial.

Teaching Remedial Math

There are also a variety of specific teaching techniques you can implement at home to help your child. For example, you may want to consider teaching math concepts with hands-on activities and visual aids. Hands-on activities covering basic math concepts, like numbers and operations, geometry, problem solving and measurement, are available from a plethora of websites. They can help your child relate abstract math concepts to things in the real world that he or she already understands. Activities like these can help students who struggle with abstract math concepts comprehend and retain them.

One example of this type of activity is to have your child model problems with real objects. He or she can add together beads on a table or leaves on a tree outside. At the grocery store, your child can count the number of cans you put in your cart or calculate how much of a product he can purchase for a certain price.

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