Andrea - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 58 moms have responded )

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I have a very hard problem! My son is struggling with math to the point that he has given up even trying! I have no idea how to help him or what to do . Do any of you have any suggestions?

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Kat - posted on 04/10/2010

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If you are able to afford a tutor or have one the school provides, I recommend them highly. I tutor middle school mathematics and teach elementary grade students. It can be very frustrating for the child, parents, and teacher to have a child that has thrown in the towel on learning. You need to know the limitations of your childs mathematical abilities in order to formulate a course of proactive response. Home tutoring can help fill in the gaps, if no other tutoring is available.

Start by: As a parent, try to reduce stress by creating a structured, timed learning session. The place should be quiet to distractions and well kit (kitchen table is fine). The maxium time should be 2 hours, 4 days a week. Try to aim at 30 minutes of homework and classwork daily review. Ask to borrow a text book if it think it will help you, with a little extra work from the teacher you can get the pages she will cover that week. As a genral rule of thumb, work the beginning part of the session with review and easy stuff that the child already knows(15 min), then progress into the day's lesson (30 min) , and ten minutes of challenge work; this should take up 55 minutes; take a 10 minute snack break and do up to another 55 minutes of tutoring. One area of weakness common to most of my tutorees is word solving problems and reading comprehension of word problems. You can by at grade level books at Mardels and other book stores that will give you word problem exercises. These could be the challenge problems, it make take the whole 10 minutes to understand one problem with alternate examples.

Hoope this helps you out.

Kat Challis

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Tracie - posted on 08/30/2012

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Depending on his age, games are a fantastic way to sneak in math practice. Don't even mention math, just play the game. Adding up a roll on the dice, being the banker and making change and games like Yahtzee are great for honing math skills.

Good luck and have fun!!

Betty - posted on 03/31/2010

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I am having the same issue with my ten year old. She has a B average in her math but her being the perfectionist that she is, has insisted that she hates math. I'm trying a logic approach with her. First of all I tell her that a B is great and that she should be proud of it. She still turns her nose up at her math homework. I tell her that she has to be more positive towards math. She is constantly saying she is bad at math but with a B average there is no way she is bad at math. I tell her that she is limiting herself by having that atitude. If she would just rationalize it by saying "oh I got that problem wrong by doing this so, next time I have this type of problem I have to make sure I'm concious of the mistake I had made before". Ofcourse if your child's grade is at risk then I suggest a tudor. I know my daughter and I have hit a point where she won't let me help her with her HW any more. It turns into a big argument. So I have to take this type of encouragement. She loves to read so I try to relate her problem with numbers with words. I tell her "If you pronounce a word wrong you learn the right way and then make the mental approaches appropriate for correcting it". I think this can apply to math also instead of concentrating on the subject being numbers and formulas, concentrate on the process of learning from mistakes. Hope this helps. My daughter seems to be pretty receptive to this idea.

Darcey - posted on 08/29/2012

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I would try really easy maths to start with, and then gradually take it harder, after practice. My child, George (girl) is like your child, Andrea. It really worked...

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15 makes it hard! If I was struggling with math at that age, I might have given up.

When I have tutored, I check for the blocks of learning they did not get.

Math is sequential so if an early stage was an issue it keeps growing and growing.

Can you find someone who can test for those blocks?

Is he eligible for a Learning Disability program at school?

As a mom you are in a different role as they grow. See if you can find someone to build those blocks he did not get. Don't blame yourself or him.