3 ways to help a junior high school student with math

Let’s assume that touch math numbers 1-9 already in a child’s elementary school is coming on tight, fiddling. It’s hard and boring to add and subtract, let alone anything more complicated. New topics just won’t sink in. Writer and mother of three Ksenia Buksha tells you from her own experience how to help your child learn math.

Breaking Down Difficulties

There are no kids in grades 1-5 who can’t do math. But there are children with specific difficulties that can and should be overcome. Let’s think about why a child has difficulty in math.

Here are the possible options or combinations of options.

Doesn’t count well, doesn’t have counting skills. Not very familiar with numbers.
Can’t go into the essence of the task set, has difficulty understanding what to do. He/she tries all the variants (“Is this wrong? Then I will try to divide”, “Three times as much – do we need plus or minus here?”).
Learns a template solution, but cannot refine it. Faced with the slightest change of conditions, falls into a stupor.
Unable to read complex texts. As a result, does not understand either the rules or the text of the task. If things are explained to him on the fingers, he is able to solve them right away.
She does not have the concepts in her head. He hardly understands them and quickly forgets. Such a child can hear an explanation a hundred times of what “X” (the unknown) is, but still not understand it.
The visual representational skill is not developed. He or she cannot imagine, draw a schematic picture or “see in his or her mind”.
Short attention span: understands everything, but makes a lot of mistakes, especially in the long complex examples.
As you can see, math breaks down into many different skills which confirms 4th grade math help for parents. Once we figure out what the problem is, we can solve it. I apologize in advance to teachers and guidance counselors: I’m just a parent, and my thoughts on this are just a private opinion, although I try to justify it.

Waiting for the ability to think abstractly to mature

A neurotypical child’s brain does not mature to abstract and generalize immediately. For some it happens earlier and for others later. For example, not all children can relate number and quantity. For very many even in the 2-3rd grade, there are only “15 apples”, and just “15” is not there.

At the same time, they somehow get used to operating with numbers, and the gap in basic understanding is not very noticeable until it comes to a little more complicated things. For example, it is difficult for them to understand why it can not be “one and a half” in the answer to the question “How many diggers? And when they start with percentages or speed and distance problems, it gets really hard.

It’s worth getting back to the specifics. Perhaps to understand fractions, you need to say “watermelons in the numerator, boys in the denominator; 21 watermelons went to 42 boys – each had half a watermelon. Even in fifth grade, almost all concepts can still be grounded to specifics.

Developing counting skills

Just learning to count is boring. All kinds of number games can help us. For starters – difficult walkers with 2-3 dice (when one move maximum – 18 points, not 6), then – a variety of games in dice, where you have to count points.

The simplest game I know is “one”: players take turns rolling one die (or two, or three), trying to get to a hundred points. The series is interrupted when a player rolls at least one 1, in which case his points for the series are burned, and you have to be smart to stop in time.

I highly recommend dice poker. This game has a series of combinations, each of which must be discarded in three tries. These attempts can be accumulated. Players take turns making the moves; the one who completes all the combinations first wins. In addition to the simple skill of folding points, poker gradually develops a subtle understanding of randomness and probability, calculated risk and chance. Even a six- or seven-year-old can learn to play this kind of poker.

To practice division and multiplication, my daughter and I talked about numbers as “relatives.” For example, number 72 has a very large “family”: it has “babies” 24 and 36 and “grandchildren” – 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 18. But number 37 has no “family”, it is simple. But if you “marry” it with another “single” – 41, they get 78 together, now you can “have children and grandchildren. It’s a good way to learn the multiplication table.