For some children, math class is the most daunting forty-five minutes of their day. Whether they are learning algebra, geometry, or calculus, some children really struggle in this particular educational subject due to a variety of reasons. From inadequate teaching methods to unfair overcompensations, here are some reasons why your child may be struggling with math.
Memorization: Do you remember memorizing information for a test? Do you also remember forgetting all those valuable facts right after that test? When math teachers teach through memorization, mathematic information often holds residency in the short-term memory temporarily, and then slowly exits, never making much of an indent in a child’s long-term memory.
Furthermore, encouraging kids to simply memorize their times tables or other algebraic equation results in rote learning, inapplicable to varied situations. As adults, we know that math affects our real lives in very different ways than how we learn its skills in school. Learning math by rote makes it nearly impossible to apply these skills beyond the set number of memorized equations. If teachers, instead, take the time to teach children how addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division work, why these tools work in these ways, and who to quickly perform these operations in a variety of different ways, children’s math skills not only improve, but they become more applicable later in life, exponentially increasing cognitive development.
Teaching to the Test: Standardized tests have negatively affected teachers’ ability to tailor lesson to their individual student needs. Instead, schooling systems measure teacher success by good standardized test scores, rewarded in continued school funding. However, the lessons on these tests are often just more memorization tricks rather than true exercises in understand critical thinking principles. This skewed system values school funding over children’s education needs, ultimately harming our children.
Tutoring: Instead of fixing the flaws in our educational system’s math classes, parents are compensating for these flaws by hiring their children tutors. While this can be helpful for those children whose families can afford tutoring, unfortunately not all families can. Thus, education becomes for those who can afford it, rather than for all. If parents instead put this money into improved schools rather than extra tutoring , more children could benefit.
Are you looking for fun ways to teach math to your child? Math Nook offers a wide variety of awesome math computer games and worksheets to teach our children the mathematics they need for later in life.