What to do if your child is failing in math?

a child learning math tricks

Math can be daunting for a lot of students. Problems in this subject arise when the students are not clear with their basics. At DPS Warangal, our aim is to make sure that students are able to get proper knowledge of important concepts in early classes. This helps them to be more confident in the subject. When a child is facing challenges in math, the parents get worried because it is a compulsory subject and is also needed in a lot of career fields. However, there aren’t any steps you can take to support your child and help them improve their math skills. Let’s explore some strategies that can make a difference in your child’s learning journey.

Common reasons why children struggle with math

One thing that might be difficult for you to comprehend as a parent is why is it that your kid struggles very specifically with math as a subject. Some common reasons that might be responsible for your child’s weak math skills are mentioned below. 

  1. Lack of basic knowledge about the subject.: Math is a cumulative subject. To perform well in advanced topics, you must have a proper understanding of the basic concepts. If your child does not have an understanding of a particular topic, moving to more complex questions can be the wrong move as they will find it more challenging.
  1. Anxiety regarding the subject: A lot of children are scared that they will make mistakes in questions even if they know their concepts well. Subject anxiety can make them forget whatever they have learnt. They may also be unable to apply the concepts at the time of the exam because they are nervous about making any mistakes.
  1. Difficulties in understanding concepts: If you feel like your child is unable to grasp basic concepts, they might have some learning disabilities. These can be one of the many disabilities like dyslexia or some other visual and auditory issues that can impact your child’s ability to meet the expectations in completing simple math problems. 
  1. Difficulty in concentrating while studying: A lot of children who suffer from issues like ADHD can have difficulty in concentrating or paying attention if they are not attentive enough. These lead to problems in following each step of a math problem which leads to making mistakes and misunderstandings while they are solving questions. 
  1. Poor concentration: Not all children have strong numeric brains and it is important for parents to understand that some children might have trouble grasping the concepts behind math problems or other numerical calculations.
  1. Difficulty with basic operations: Children with dyscalculia struggle with arithmetic problems and counting. This makes it difficult for them to learn more advanced math functions. The lack of knowledge about the advanced functions of math can lead to them failing in an exam.
  1. Lack of patience: Some of the math problems are really long and have multi-process steps. If the child is not patient enough, he can make a mistake in the problem he solving. By doing so, he will lose marks.
  1. Difficulty with visual-spatial understanding: Struggling with visual-spatial concepts like graphs and charts can make it challenging for children to understand and apply mathematical principles. Graphs usually require interpretation of data and so children must be made to practice these concepts. More and more practice should be done so that they can get better at these 
  1. Motor skill difficulties: Children suffering from dysgraphia or dyspraxia have trouble writing by hand. This leads to careless errors or difficulty recording answers correctly. Making very grave writing mistakes can lead to them losing a lot of marks in their exams, thereby failing them
  1. Avoiding the subject: If a child has been suffering in doing math questions for a very long time he/she may start avoiding the subject altogether. As parents, it is your responsibility to remove this fear of math from their minds. Once they start trying to solve these questions you will see progress in their scores.

Identifying the root cause

The first step to solving a problem is figuring out the root cause of it. If you see that your child is not able to score well in math, try to understand where they are facing difficulties. It could be due to a lack of strong foundation and knowledge, difficulty understanding the concepts and lack of interest in the subject. In a lot of cases, they might even face anxiety related to the subject. Identifying the root cause will help you to find a solution to the problem and address their specific needs. 

Communicate with teachers

If you want to clearly know what your child is facing issues with, you can reach out to their teachers. The teachers will help provide valuable insights and recommendations on how you can support your child’s learning process. They observe and monitor your child’s everyday activities in school. They can also tell you ways or shortcuts by which you can make your child understand the concepts better. Talking to their teachers can also help you in a way wherein teachers can give extra attention to the students and support them in the learning process.

Support at home

When children score lower marks, they get disheartened. As parents, it is on your part to encourage them to ask questions to clear out any doubts that we might have regarding the subject.  You should provide them assistance as and when needed. You should offer praise for their efforts and build a positive and encouraging atmosphere that can enhance their confidence and motivate them to learn the concepts.

Utilising resources

There are various resources that the children can use to improve their math skills. These resources are available online in the form of educational apps and ebooks and offline in the form of classroom sessions or coaching classes. Children who want to leverage these and make full use of these resources to understand the concepts better and score better marks in math can do so. A lot of time children do not solve enough questions or look at examples that help explain the concepts. 

Making math fun

A lot of time children do not solve math because they find it boring or are unable to do it. Incorporate math into everyday activities at the younger stage in your child’s life. This way they will find it more engaging. You can use relatable situations, real-life examples, to show them how math is relevant in daily life. Making the process of understanding math fun can spark their interest and make it an enjoyable experience for them.

Considering tutoring

If you think your child is lagging in the understanding of the basic concepts, going to a tutor out of school can also be a good solution. A tutor can provide personal support and guidance which can help in improving your child’s math skills. This will help them overcome challenges and build a stronger foundation of the subject. A more personalized approach will help in understanding your kid’s shortcomings and the tutor can work accordingly with your child. A lot of parents have seen considerable improvement in their child scores after putting them in tuition or coaching classes.

Encouraging persistence

If you find your child being disheartened at his/her performance in the subject, tell them that it is okay to make mistakes. Teach them that what is more important is that they learn from these mistakes. Encourage them to be positive through the struggles and celebrate even the smallest of progress along the way. Help them to develop resilience and a growth mindset. This can be a way of continued learning and success in math as a subject. 

Supporting your child in their math learning journey requires patience, understanding, and active involvement. By identifying the root causes of their struggles, communicating with teachers, and providing support at home, you can help build their confidence and skills. Utilise available resources, make math fun, and consider tutoring if necessary. Encouraging persistence and a positive mindset will foster resilience and a growth-oriented approach to learning. With these strategies, you can help your child overcome their challenges in math and pave the way for their academic success and future opportunities.