4 Ways to Know If Your Child Is Struggling With Maths

25th Sep 2015


5 and Under

When children start to fall in behind in Maths, it’s quite easy to tell, especially once you know what to watch out for. Problems tend to start at around the third year of school when many children notice that they don’t seem to “get” what their teacher is teaching. As a result, they then get turned off and have negative emotions where Maths is concerned. This can go on to affect their overall self-esteem and confidence if care is not taken. The key is to catch them early.

There are quite a few signs to watch out for, but I will mention four of the main ones here:

1. The first one is comments from the child saying “Maths is boring”, or “Maths classes are boring”. It is normal to get bored or dislike things you don’t know or feel you are not good at. A child who is able to solve the problems the teacher is giving in class, or that is able to solve homework problems confidently, cannot be bored with Maths unless the level he/she is being taught is way lower than where he/she is at. A lackluster or lackadaisical attitude where Maths is concerned is a characteristic of Maths struggles.

2. The second way to know if your child is struggling with Maths is when a child is doing well at other subjects, but not getting good grades in Maths. That’s a big sign that something is wrong. The child might have been lost somewhere along the line. You need to make sure you help the child (either yourself or with help from a tutor or a teacher) by going back to where they might have been lost along the line in their Maths journey.

3. A teacher’s feedback will be the third type of indicator. What is the teacher saying about your child’s progress with Maths? Is the teacher saying things like “he needs to pay more attention in class”? That suggests that something may be wrong.

4. The fourth is that a struggling child will tend to leave Maths homework last, of all the homeworks he/she has been given at any given time. As human beings, we always tend towards the path of least resistance.

Maths is built precept upon precept. The child must understand the previous concept before being able to “get” the next one. Not thoroughly understanding or effectively practicing a concept thoroughly before moving to the next is always going to be a problem that could impact the way your child views Maths forever. Make sure you ask for feedback often from the teacher. Work with the teacher and the school. You have a common goal. Of course teachers may have different ways of teaching kids, but ultimately most just want to ensure your child learns and is comfortable with numeracy skills.

If your child is struggling, get help as soon as possible from their teacher or extra Maths support through tutoring. Using games to practise Maths is also an excellent way to disguise the fact that they are learning Maths during play, one of the best ways to learn.


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