4 Ways To Improve Math Scores
Many parents, who feel like they’ve tried everything to help their frustrated and defeated child succeed in math, have searched the Internet for quick fixes, worksheets, online games and other solutions for what seems like an unfixable problem. However, when it comes to improving math scores, there is no single right answer. It comes down to patience, practice and a few old school tips that have stood the test of time:
Stay Organized: Someone very smart once said “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Students who struggle with math cannot afford to miss an assignment, fail to study for a test, or miss a deadline simply because they forgot. For these students, preparation is the key to success. Remind your child to stay organized and focused on the class, and remind them that even though they may feel frustrated and lost in class, when they are diligent about turning things in on time and done to the best of their ability, it does not go unnoticed by the teacher or professor.
Focus on what you DON’T know: It can be easy for students to focus on the content that they have an understanding of, as it makes them feel a little more grounded and successful. However, the skills that they feel confident with are not the ones that need the focus. If your child can show you two or three times that they understand a particular concept, it’s time to move on. Spending time on what they already know doesn’t help strengthen their ability in other areas. Remind them to spend time on the content that they don’t get, until it becomes the content that they do get.
Teach It: It may sound silly to have someone who is struggling with math to teach it to someone else, but studies show that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. Having your child teach you a math concept gives them an opportunity to really explain, step by step, what and why they are doing what they are doing. Usually, a question you may ask them will stick with them and help them answer their own questions later on.
Read Ahead: This step is linked to being organized, but goes a step further. Encouraging children to look ahead in the chapter, even just to skim it, may help them understand the upcoming lessons a little better. If they are familiar with the wording, graphs, formulas and/or guidelines in the upcoming lessons, they may be able to focus more on what the teacher is doing and less on understanding the new vocabulary or instructions.
Doing online math games, forming a study group, or getting a tutor are all great ways to improve math scores, but none of them will work if your child is not willing to put in the effort, practice and patience it takes to improve. These tried and true tactics are the foundation for success not only in math, but for all subjects in which students find themselves struggling. There is no quick fix, magic potion or 60 day program that can turn a struggling math student into a math enthusiast, but these 4 steps are a good place to start.