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How to Cope If Your Child is Failing Math

Is your child struggling in math class? Don't worry; you are not alone. Many parents face this challenging situation with math and/or other subjects. While it can be worrisome and challenging, there are effective strategies you as a parent can use to help your child improve their math skills and boost their confidence.

What can you, as a parent, do if your child is failing math class? Here are some practical tips you can implement today to support them on their path to success.

Your Role and Your Attitude

Kids and teens may not yet have the insight to understand why they are struggling with the subject. It is your job as a parent to dig deep and find the root cause so you can help them.

As a parent, it is vital to understand, first and foremost, that some children may be ashamed of having received a low grade or may fear the repercussions of poor performance.

If you have recently recognized that your child is failing math class, you should know that your attitude towards the issue will directly influence how the child approaches the matter.

Here are some things to consider in handling the situation:

  • Address the problem head-on, but do it with grace and understanding

  • Be firm in your expectations, according to the child's abilities, but provide the resources necessary to support them in meeting those goals

  • Involve the child in creating an improvement plan; they must buy into it to get the results

  • Understand that the process is ongoing; you will need regular checkups with the student, teacher, tutor, etc., to see how the situation evolves

Open Communication

Before you can address the problem, it's crucial to identify the root cause of your child's struggles with math. Sit down with your child and have an open, non-judgmental conversation about their math struggles. Let them know you are there to support and help them, rather than criticize. Ask questions about what they find challenging and really listen to their concerns. This dialogue will help you build trust and gain insights into their perspective.

What is the Reason For Their Struggles with Math?

Through this conversation with your child, you can identify any factors that may be at play in their poor performance, such as (but not limited to):

  • Difficulty understanding the mathematical concepts

  • Literacy issues, such as reading comprehension (Can they effectively read the word problems? Do they understand what the math problem asks them to do?)

  • Lack of motivation or interest in the subject (Do they need inspiration to to enjoy the content?)

  • Problems with the teacher's teaching style

  • Social problems (Issues with peers in the math class that are distracting them)

  • Insufficient time or resources for homework (Learning pace too fast for your child)

  • A learning disability

Tailor your approach by pinpointing the underlying issue first.

Seek Professional Help

If your child's struggles with math are persistent, consider seeking professional assistance. A tutor or math specialist can provide one-on-one guidance tailored to your child. They can identify learning gaps, develop a personalized learning plan, and offer targeted exercises to improve math skills and confidence in the subject.

At Momentum Learning, we start every student with an initial assessment. Through this personalized live assessment, we identify strengths and gaps to create an effective plan of action to help our students. Before you set out to hire a tutor, read this blog about how to find the the best tutoring service for your child .

Create a Structured Routine

Consistency is vital when it comes to improving math skills. Establish a structured study routine with dedicated time for math homework and weekly extra help with their teacher, peers, or hired tutor. Ensure a quiet and well-lit study space free from distractions. Keep your child accountable to follow this routine regularly.

Use Online Resources

The internet offers many free and paid educational resources to support your child's math learning. Websites, apps, and YouTube channels provide interactive tutorials, quizzes, and exercises that can make learning math more engaging and enjoyable.

Explore platforms like Khan Academy to find suitable resources.

Momentum Learning has a YouTube channel where we provide lessons and how-to videos for various subjects, especially Math.

Positive Reinforcement and Self-Esteem

Poor performance in math or other academic subjects often relates to a self-esteem problem. However, since correlation does not imply causation, it is challenging to identify which came first. Low self-esteem can make a child feel powerless to improve their math performance; on the flip side, consistently doing poorly in math can be responsible for setting off a self-esteem problem in your child.

Regardless of which came first, praise and positive reinforcement can do wonders for your child's self-esteem and motivation.

  • Celebrate their small successes and efforts in math

  • Praise them when they give their best attitude, even if the results are not perfect

  • Remind them that everyone learns at their own pace

  • Encourage a growth mindset, emphasizing that mistakes are opportunities to learn and improve

  • Help them separate their identity from their performance. They are not less than because they performed less than.

Learn these q

Motivate Them with Real-World Applications

If your child seems uninterested in math or needs more motivation to learn it, point out the practical applications of math in everyday life. This can make the subject matter more relevant and relatable, sparking their interest and curiosity.

Here are some ideas of real-life applications depending on their interests:

  • Sports: calculate speed, distance, etc.; create charts to track improvement;

  • Cooking: Calculate ingredient ratios to double or half recipes, plan ingredients needed based on various quantities of people

  • Art: dimensions, proportions, and ratios, scale, materials needed for a particular art project

  • Business: projections, budgeting, goal tracking

  • Games: probability in decision making, risk calculations

Stay Engaged

Stay engaged with your child's math progress by regularly checking their homework and test scores. Discuss academic performance and engagement with their teacher. Develop strategies for improvement together with the teacher or tutor

If your child is failing math class, being proactive and supportive is essential. Identify the underlying issues, communicate openly, and seek professional help when necessary. Establish a structured study routine, use online resources, and provide positive reinforcement to boost your child's confidence and motivation. Following these strategies and remaining engaged in your child's math education can help them succeed. Remember that with patience and persistence, improvement is attainable.


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