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A Parent's Guide To Mathematical Achievement

Feb 22, 2018
Are some students destined to succeed in mathematics because they’re inherently “good at math?” The answer is no. Educators believe everyone can succeed at math. In celebration of Pi Day (March 14) and the National Math Month in April, here are some strategies that families and students can use to succeed in math.
The Power of Parents
Parents can make math matter outside of school by creatively unlocking the math problems hidden within everyday situations. Keeping track of batting averages provides a natural introduction to statistics, but mathematics can also be explored in less obvious activities. Rearranging a teenager’s room can turn into a geometry lesson by talking about the room’s square footage versus the space taken up by the child’s furniture or how the room’s shape determines interior design - the placement of objects.
By “mathematizing” daily activities such as shopping, parents can inspire confidence in their children’s math abilities. The key is to encourage young people to use math to manage the world around them.
The Road to Achievement
Many students admit that they are reluctant to ask for academic assistance because they feel alone in their struggles. Children need someone who is very patient to help them better understand math – a parent, teacher, friend or a tutor.
But, only parents can encourage their children to speak up and acknowledge, “I still do not understand that concept. Can you please explain it to me again?”
Students who are unsure of their academic knowledge require assurance to ask for help. In order to ensure a student is secure in her abilities, parents must be nurturing and inspire confidence by helping the child develop self-confidence. By working together as a family and following the suggestions below, you can ensure math success.
  • Model the process of making mistakes and calmly learning from them.
  • Review previously learned math concepts before each new homework assignment.
  • Start each new session with math concepts that are familiar, and gradually move into new and more difficult areas.
  • Use hands-on objects from around the house to introduce new math concepts.
  • Help your child focus on the reasoning behind procedures rather than rely on memorization alone.
  • Take turns working on problems and explaining how you arrived at your solutions.
  • Solve problems in a variety of ways and allow your child to use his or her imagination and favourite method.
  • Encourage your child to skip difficult problems temporarily and return to them later in the session.
  • Watch for signs that your child needs the assistance of a supplemental education provider.
If your child is becoming rebellious and will not allow you to help, a professional educator who is a non-family member may be needed to engage the student.

To support your child’s math learning, parents must believe that everyone can learn mathematics, and that learning math is essential to lifelong success. Experts agree that parents can encourage a positive attitude towards mathematics by boosting a child’s confidence and competence.