Remedial Math: Help for Struggling Students

If your child is having troubling grasping mathematical concepts, perhaps a remedial math program would be helpful. Each grade level builds on the math skills from the previous year, so if your child falls behind, it will impact his or her ability to advance. Keep reading to find out about resources for math help.

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How Can Remedial Math Help My Child?

It's not uncommon for children who are struggling with math to be placed in remedial math programs. Such programs are designed to help children master the basics and catch up to their classmates. Remedial math programs often offer a child more personal attention than he or she would receive in a larger classroom.

If your child hasn't responded to traditional methods of math instruction used in school, remedial math may be the answer. Your child may have trouble remembering math facts or visualizing the abstract concepts presented in many math units. Perhaps it will take a different instruction approach to help your child grasp the abstraction of mathematical thought.

Types of Programs

There are various kinds of remedial math programs that you can enroll your child in depending upon his or her needs. First, determine the exact areas in which your child needs help.

School Programs

Consult with your child's teachers, learning experts or school counselors. Your child's school will usually offer a remedial math program, but there are after-school programs and private programs that you can also look into if it's deemed necessary.


Another option to consider is sending your child to a math-focused learning center or hiring a private math tutor for after-school help. Choose from local private tutors or national tutoring services. It's also an option to hire an online tutor to help your child with more immediate issues, such as a particular homework assignment or an upcoming math test.

Providing Extra Assistance at Home

While additional assistance may help your child perform better in math in the short term, it may not be enough to make an enduring long-term difference. If time allows, you can do your part by becoming more involved in your child's studies at home. For instance, you can help with the completion of homework assignments and find or create additional worksheets to provide your child with extra practice. Additional tips and advice on how to become more involved in your child's education are available from the U.S. Department of Education ( Your patient guidance as a parent may be just what your child needs to succeed in math.

Tips for At-Home Guidance

Ask your child to explain the process he or she is using to solve a particular math problem. By talking through problems step-by-step, your child may come to understand the solutions better. Go over your child's homework and lessons yourself beforehand, so that when it comes time to offer a hand, you're well versed in the subject matter.

If you're providing remedial math help to your child at home, use hands-on techniques that will help engage your child and reinforce math topics on a deeper level. Use manipulatives to help your child work with math concepts. For example, if your child is struggling with division, let him or her experiment with a handful of candies or buttons. Ask your child to divide the objects into equal groups. You can use any small object as a manipulative, or if you'd like to incorporate computer-aided instruction, your child can use virtual manipulatives online.

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