If you have a child who is struggling with algebra, it’s important to keep in mind that many students, even those who have always enjoyed math and done well in the subject, can begin to develop problems once they reach algebra. Unlike math concepts that your child has studied in elementary school or previous grades, algebra brings in abstract concepts that can sometimes be hard to grasp. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your child succeed.
First Things First
Spend some time reviewing your child’s math book, and any homework assignments, quizzes, or tests to get an idea of where your child seems to be having problems. Whether it all seems to be flying past your child or your child is struggling to grasp one or two concepts, identifying these areas can be a great way to determine where you need to focus on helping your child.
Brush Up On Algebraic Concepts
To avoid confusing your child further, it’s important that you have a strong grasp of algebraic concepts yourself before you try to help them with their algebra homework.
One of our algebra tutors in Irvine stated “Obviously we would recommend that parents hire a private math tutor to get their student back on track, but if you’re determined to help your kid out yourself, it’s wise to talk with their teacher first to figure out what concepts your student is having trouble with. Once you’ve identified the issues, you can then brush up on the concepts yourself so you’re in a good position to help.”
Approach Algebra in a Manner Your Child Understands
The problem with algebra is that it starts with an introduction to new vocabulary words as well as abstract concepts. Go over the vocabulary first and make sure your student understands these words. Next, tackle formulas or concepts that seem to be giving your child problems. Keep in mind, sometimes you will need to go over previous material in order to ensure your child has a firm understanding.
One Chino Hills math tutor brought up an excellent point. “If your child didn’t understand a concept that was covered a month ago, chances are they have been in a decline ever since. Go back to the point where your child understood their math assignments and felt confident. You need to work from there to get them back on track.”
Practice, Practice, Practice
Working through examples by using a variety of techniques can help your child finally get it. Additionally, there is no substitute for practice. Encourage your child to do as many practice problems as possible. Most importantly, don’t try to rush it. Your child will “get it” when they get it. Use examples, discussions, explanations, and patience, and they will get it, eventually.
Call in Reinforcements
It’s easy for both the student and the parent to become frustrated. The child is already struggling with understanding their math; in fact, by the time the problem comes to light, the child may have had several poor grades. The downhill sliding of their grades combined with the frustration of not being able to grasp these new concepts can be an emotionally charged situation for any kid.
Of course, as the parent, you’re probably also facing your own frustrations. You have a child who is struggling, they may be in a bad mood, and you likely have your own concerns about their struggles and how it will impact them and their future educational goals. Take some time to relax, take a deep breath, and try not to let the situation overwhelm you. A child that feels the situation is spiraling out of control is certainly not going to be receptive to learning.
While we can certainly understand the feeling of wanting to be able to help your child, sometimes parents can compound the students math anxiety; ultimately making the situation worse. We have private math tutors in Orange County, Los Angeles, Chino Hills and all of southern California waiting to help your child catch up, keep up, and move ahead! Call us now! 1-877-947-3224