“Does my child struggle in math? How much help does my child need? Could a tutor or an after-school teacher help him? Did I wait too long to enroll? Will my child ever catch up?”
If these questions come up often, you are not alone. In life, math plays a very important role. We use skills that we learned in school almost every day. In school, math is regularly one of the toughest subjects for kids. Some parents try to help their students with their homework, but is that help effective? How far can you go to keep helping them? Will you always have enough time for it? Do you provide them with the most effective techniques like they receive in school?
For those who still have these questions, it’s helpful to know that enrolling your child in a math academy is an option. Math academies have curriculums that match up with the techniques and skills taught in schools. Whether a math academy is for tutoring or enhancing skills, it can be a tremendous help for your child. Here are some ideas to help you decide when you should let a math academy have a role in your child’s life.
1. Your child chooses to do homework on his or her own but isn’t doing it correctly
This could be a sign of a child who is giving up on learning math. Math can get complicated and can easily make anyone feel overwhelmed or “brain fried.” Even worse is he or she does not ask questions while doing homework. This can be a clear indication of many issues: lack of basic fundamentals or lack of effort.
2.Your child quickly forgets or does not retain mathematical methods
Some math requires memorization of a method to calculate problems. There are various methods to solve numerical math problems, but your child should memorize the method that works for him or her. If your child has trouble memorizing a particular method to solve a numerical drill, it most likely means that he or she does not understand the concept. A child will only retain a method if he or she understands it. It’s not because of his or her inability to do math, but more likely because he or she does not understand the method you are trying to teach. At a math academy, your child’s teacher will be equipped with various methods to solve a problem along with tips, tricks, and helpful explanations to help your child understand the numerical concept.
3.Your child starts to struggle with word problems or the application of math in real-world problems
It’s not enough to learn the methods of calculation; students must also be able to apply these calculations to real situations. For instance, a 3rdgrader may know how to multiply 36 × 8, which is great, but can he or she apply this concept to a real-world problem? Words problems give these calculations context of when a student would use these calculations in real life. Going off of the previous example, if a child knows 36 × 8, but doesn’t know how to solve a problem relating to that calculation (Sally has 36 stacks of 8 papers. How many papers does she have?), then the calculations are not useful to the student in life.
4.Your child keeps skipping steps in their math problems
Your child seems to understand math quickly, but many “quick learners” also solve problems quickly. In the process, he or she may skip writing critical steps in a math problem and like to solve the problem in his or her head. This can lead to silly mistakes, which eventually leads to wrong answers and losing points on a test. At a math academy, teachers will help correct this common error by requiring students to show their work and explain their step-by-step method aloud.
5.Your child gets bored with doing what is offered in school
It is good to know that your child is excelling in school, but it may mean that he or she is not challenged academically. Not addressing it is one of the biggest mistakes that many parents make. Not challenging a child enough could cause him or her to lose interest in the subject or not reach his or her full potential.
What do you think? Is it time to enroll your child in a math academy? Let us know in the comments! (Click on the title of this post and a comment box will appear at the bottom.)
Author: Elaine Timbuleng, Teacher and Writer and MathWizard, Inc.