Do you have children that are struggling with math at school? Don’t worry, you are not alone. In a recent study done by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which measures reading, science and math ability between 15-year-olds from 71 developed and developing countries, children in the United States ranked 38th in math and 24th in science.
Among its peers, the United States spends more in education than those at the top, and the results are clearly nothing to brag about. Our children are falling behind.
So, clearly, we need to do something about it. Where to start though? Most schools in this country are not doing a good job teaching science, math or technology- the results speak for themselves- as parents, we have left the teaching of these important subjects to the schools for too long without expecting accountability. Our children are failing math and passing to the next grade without mastering the basic of algebra, trigonometry or calculus. By the time college looms near, math is a subject most teens in this country dread about. They are getting accepted into college and put into remedial math they should have learned during junior and high school.
If you google “math help” on your computer, you will get about 251,000,000 results in less than a second. Will that help? Doubtful. You can spend days going through all the sites to see which ones offer math for free, which ones are worth paying for, or which ones will give you good math advice.
If your child goes to school, does he/she have a math book? Do you understand where they are in the book, or what they are learning? Would you like to do some math with your child during breaks, or the weekend?
Is your school doing student surveys to see when they are struggling?
If your child is falling behind in math, and you want to help them, start small. You can start by spending 10 to 15 minutes a day explaining a topic and asking them to solve some problems. If you don’t know where to start, test them to see where the starting point is for them. Here is a link that will provide you with a very simple assessment of where your child should start. The information is all there, you just need to print it.
Before I continue, I need to tell you I am not getting paid for promoting this site, nor am I required to promote it. This is a personal preference. My family has used Saxon Math for many years, and although is a bit intense because of the amount of work we need to do, the results are worth it.
After you have administered this test, you will have the results and the option to start at that point. For Saxon math, the beginning of the books are always very easy because they are reviewing the material from the previous grade, but as you progress, the difficulty becomes much more challenging.
Online math sites are good if you want to go that way. But be choosy, remember that there are millions of sites with math help. Choose a site that will give your child extensive and numerous exercises till he or she masters the topic, and make sure that at the beginning of your journey, you choose a free site before committing yourself to a site that locks you into a long term commitment. If you want to make sure he/she knows the topic, come back later on and test her again with some problems to see if you need to review that topic. You must remember that your child needs to master a topic, before continuing into another. We are not at school.
Good luck and have fun with math!