Homeschooling the Child Who Hates Math|
Your child breezes through spelling, social studies, and art,
but when it comes to math, your child's attitude quickly sours. This can result
in anxiety, acting out, struggles and outright refusal to do a lesson – a
situation we have all been in. Additionally, many of us are intimidated by math
ourselves, which can add to overall frustration with the subject. This doesn't
have to be the case! Math utilizes logical skills and creativity, and your child
can grow to enjoy it regardless of the initial level of interest.
have suggested that
students learn math best
in a supportive learning environment, that includes:
January 29, 2009|
- practice problems with explanations that
break down challenges
- flexibility to review previous math
exercises, or move on to new exercises
- assessment / feedback
As parents and teachers, we hope to help
our children understand how they will use math in their everyday lives. How
then, do we get past our nightmarish math memories so that|
we too can overcome the hesitations and learn to enjoy math along with our
Here are some suggestions on how you can overcome your own
math phobias in order to help your
children discover the joy of mathematics;
1. Don't let your fear of math come across to your kids.
Parents must be careful not to perpetuate the
mathematical myth - that math is only for "math types." Try not to make comments
like, I don't like math" or "I have never been good at math." When children hear comments like these from their primary teacher, they begin to dread math
before giving it a chance. It is important to encourage your children to explore
the rich world of mathematics without imparting negative biases.
2. Don't immediately associate math with computation
It is very important to realize that math is not
just numbers and computations, but a realm of exciting ideas that touch every
part of our lives. Take your children outside and point out real objects that
display math concepts. For example, show your children the symmetry of a leaf or
the angles on a building; take a close look at the spirals in a spider web or
the intricate patterns of a snowflake.
3. Help your children understand why math is important.
Math improves problem solving that can be applied
in different ways. It's the same as reading. You can learn the basics of reading
without ever enjoying a novel. But, where's the excitement in that? With math,
you could stop with the basics, but there
is more to be gained through a complete understanding of mathematics. Life is more enriching when we
go beyond the basics. Stretch your children's minds to become involved in
mathematics in ways that will not only be practical but also enhance their
4. Make math as "hands on" as possible.
To really experience math,
encourage your child to dig in and tackle problems in creative ways. Help
them learn how to manipulate numbers using concrete references as well as things
they can see or touch. Look for patterns everywhere, explore shapes and
symmetries, play math puzzles and games, and encourage your child to try to
invent their own. And, whenever possible, help your child realize a mathematical
conclusion with real and tangible results. For example, measure out a full glass
of juice with a measuring cup and then ask your child to drink half. Measure
what is left. Does it measure half of a cup?
If you continue to struggle to teach your children math,
it helps to approach the topic with a good toolset. Using a program, such as
ALEKS, offers a holistic solution to boost your child's scores,
comfort and confidence with mathematics, and is a
very popular option among homeschoolers.
To see if this is right for your children, ALEKS offers a
one month trial available exclusively for homeschoolers.
ALEKS because it uses artificial intelligence to provide new
concepts when your child is ready to learn them, which builds tremendous
learning momentum in mathematics. ALEKS is a Web-based program that delivers
individualized instruction integrated with all 50 states' standards, and can be
used as a
core or supplemental curriculum.
Access to the full online ALEKS
which allows your child to progress through multiple courses during the
subscription period. ALEKS QuickTables, a research-based, math fact mastery
tool for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction,
is included with every
subscription.Automated reports that track your child's progress in real-time,
enabling you to quickly gauge your child's progress. ALEKS also provides a
customized Pie Chart that allows your child to access a graphic
representation of his or her progress towards completing a course at any
Instruction and support you need to homeschool your children in
mathematics for grades 3-12.
Accessibility from virtually any computer with Internet access, making
it a flexible and mobile educational solution for your children.
- Assessments to determine exactly what your child knows, doesn't know,
and is ready to learn next. Each child's customized learning path introduces
new concepts gradually, and at the precise moment the child is ready to
successfully learn the topic.
- Complete explanations for every practice problem, including alternative
explanations when appropriate. ALEKS also offers immediate feedback for your
child based on his or her response to a problem. Furthermore, multiple
choice questions are avoided, meaning your child must use realistic input
tools to demonstrate topic mastery.
Frustration with math can become a set pattern. When your
child feels that he or she is "no good" at the subject, your child
may retreat into the assumption that he or she will never be good at
it. The sooner you can interrupt this predictable feedback loop, the sooner your
child will show more enthusiasm for the subject. Take some extra time to
familiarize yourself with the various solutions for math education. If you are
more comfortable with the subject, your child will be too. Imagine the pride
your child will feel when conquering something originally thought to be too
hard, or even impossible. The confidence that mastery of math brings is an asset
that will help your child all through school, and beyond.