Tips on how to improve your child’s math scores.

By Angela John
Angela JohnSchool is starting and your child will be embarking on new learning adventures. Each year, as your child advances in math, the curriculum continues to build upon itself. Starting the school year with a solid math foundation is crucial to succeeding.

We believe that “mathing” year round with your kids is just as important as reading to them. Students should engage regularly in age appropriate math-related tasks to keep their computational skills and numerical fluency fresh and on point. Cooking (working with units of measure, ratio, and proportion), shopping (calculating percentages and making change) and playing math games are all acceptable activities. Get creative!

Supplementary education programs are also a great choice for students who are really behind or are serious about amping up their summer learning and starting off the coming school year on the right foot. Showing your child the more enjoyable side of math during leisure time can do wonders to change negative attitudes toward the subject. Engaging in these types of activities also reinforces how having solid math skills can make life easier and benefit your child in the real world.

Before the school year starts, sit down with your child and have a year-end review—an honest conversation about his or her performance in math and academics in general. Use this conversation to gain a sense of your child’s attitude towards math and school and get on the same page regarding long term academic or career goals. Ask your child about ambitions and goals and help him or her understand that doing well in school is a critical step in making these dreams come true.

During this talk, it’s important to stay positive, optimistic and encouraging, especially if your child didn’t do too well and final grades aren’t looking pretty. Bring up the possibility of working on some math over free time and together, research options and check out after school programs. Reinforce the fact that good, honest effort yields results. Change is possible, and there’s a strong chance that the grades you saw last year won’t necessarily be the grades you’ll see next year. Getting your child to buy in may seem like an uphill climb at the beginning, but the benefits will make it all worthwhile.

Angela John is the Center Director of Mathnasium of Westwood. She has been with Mathnasium for over 3 years.