Many kids and even some adults have trouble with maths. In fact, maths work and upcoming assessments can cause anxiety for many students. When maths becomes a struggle, how can parents help their children improve their confidence, as well as skills and understanding?
Helping our child with maths is not always easy, but even if you are not the best at maths, there are methods that you can use to help your child improve their skills. Here are some of our recommendations.
Start in your home
It is normal to feel frustrated, especially when you see your child is struggling with math. Sometimes it helps knowing you are not alone. Many parents and are not confident in their ability to help their child with maths, and the persistent lockdowns and online learning can often make our relationships fragile, and our levels of frustration heightened. It is essential for both parents and children to adapt to the new normal, which often means taking a break, self-care and family connection become the highest priorities.
However, if your child is struggling with their schoolwork, there will be times when you are both in the right headspace to tackle the problems together, and hopefully come up with some accurate solutions. Even naturally talented students sometimes have a hard time with certain concepts and problems in maths. The most important thing to remember is that kids need support to develop confidence and to become engaged with their work. After that, the skills, knowledge, and understanding will develop too.
You may find it beneficial to analyse your child’s work and figure out where the gaps in their knowledge lie. For example, some kids may be great with skills, but they will struggle with word problems. Some kids have good analytical skills, but they fail to use the right method in solving a problem.
For some kids, the biggest challenge is having math anxiety and low self-confidence. They feel anxious about doing homework or taking math tests as they have an overwhelming fear of failure. In fact, they doubt their capability to improve, and their failure can get in the way of attempting their work.
Ways to help with maths at home
If your child is into sports, you can use football or basketball statistics or concepts to reinforce concepts and allow them to practice their skills. There are also several board games which can help young kids develop their skills in counting, addition and subtraction. Cooking or baking together could also help because you will need to measure the ingredients of the dish you are preparing.
There are several inexpensive tools that can make maths easier for your child. Try discovering items in your house that you can use to create graphic organisers or refer to your antique clock when teaching concepts about time.
You can even create an anchor chart to help them with multiplication or number lines to compare fractions.
Hiring a maths tutor
If your child is not responding well to your help, or if you feel overwhelmed by the level of maths understanding required, we recommend that you seek the help of a qualified and experienced maths tutor as they can provide one-on-one tuition in the comfort of your own home. Tutors can also see the gaps and tailor their lessons based on your child's learning needs. Find out here about the best time to look for a tutor.