How Can My Child Do Better in Math?

If your child is struggling in math, it's important to get help right away because math is a cumulative subject. Keep reading for tips and study strategies that will help your child succeed in math.

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How to Do Better in Math

Review Frequently

Because math skills are cumulative, if your child doesn't understand a concept early on, he is likely to struggle throughout the year. To avoid this, you and your child should spend 15-20 minutes every night reviewing. Depending on your child's grade level and motivation, he may be able to study alone. However, it can be more fun and engaging if you participate as well.

One way to review is to ask your child to explain a concept to you. If he can explain it clearly and confidently, then you can be fairly sure that he understands the material. For problems that involve multiple steps, like long division, be especially sure that your child knows what the steps are and can complete them in the correct order.

Another fun way to review with your child is by creating a game. If, for instance, your child is learning to add, create a tic-tac-toe board and fill in each box with an addition problem. Each player must solve the addition problem before writing an 'X' or 'O' in the space. This review game can be used for almost any math operation or concept; all you have to do is change the math problems in the squares!

Practice Worksheets and Tests

Whether your child is preparing for an in-class exam or a standardized test, practice tests can be helpful because you can use the results to identify your child's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you'll know what to focus on during at-home review sessions.

Additionally, some children don't do well on tests because they are unsure how to answer multiple-choice questions. Use the practice test as an opportunity to teach your child some test-taking strategies, like the process of elimination.

Self-Monitoring Techniques

As your child gets older, it will be important for her to monitor her own progress. To help her develop this skill, ask your child questions like, 'What concept are you struggling with the most?' If you continually ask these types of questions, your child will likely begin to ask these questions of herself independently. After your child is able to identify what she struggles with on her own, she should become a proactive student, meaning she should ask the teacher for help whenever she has a question or concern about the material. Being a proactive and self-reflective student will benefit your child in all subjects and in the years to come.

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