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How To: Tell Your Child Needs Help in Math

Does Your Child Struggle with Math?

I found this at GoldStudent. They make online math worksheets:

Children can need help in math whether they are at grade level, working above their grade, or if they are struggling to keep up.  But few children will speak up and simply say help me in math! Instead, children react in many ways to math at school. They could be bored, frightened, they might lack motivation, they may need more drilling, or they may need more opportunities to take tests to reduce their stress or fears.

Whatever their skill level, here are ten ways to decide if your child needs additional math help:

  1. Your child understands the math worksheets and material, but makes careless mistakes.
  2. Your child understands the math worksheets and material, but takes too long to complete problems, resulting in poor results or test scores.
  3. You would like your child to do more math homework, but are unable to find math worksheets and other materials at the right level and in sufficient quantity.
  4. You would like your child to do more math homework, but you do not have time (or the ability with more advanced work) to grade the extra work or provide test situations.
  5. Your child seems unmotivated and does poorly on math homework and tests.
  6. Your child seems to understand the math worksheets and material, but does poorly on homework or on tests.
  7. Your child panics in test situations.
  8. Your child is baffled by one math topic, although in general does well in math.
  9. You are unable to help your child with their math schoolwork, either because you do not have time, your schedule does not allow it, or you simply cannot follow the assignments.
  10. Your child is very advanced in math, and the teachers at school seem unable to meet his or her needs, resulting in boredom or poor performance.

This advice rings true to me.  Most children do need math supplementation at home simply because math is taught, typically, in a largely undifferentiated way at school.  Math could be too easy or too hard. Certain concepts may be hard for your child but not others.  My oldest is a visual learner so geometry and fractions really make sense to her.  Algebra is tougher.  My middle is really proficient in math, but she needs additional home supplementation for subtraction math facts.  And ditto for oldest on multiplication and division facts.

For math fact practice, I have free math games on my footer.

Some very popular games are Grand Prix Multiplication Auto Racing, Meteor Multiplication Shooting Meteors, Add to 10 Shooting Game, and Minus Mission Shooting Game.

p.s. Here are a few more related posts. All my posts on Math are here.

Tips and Strategies for Helping Your Child With Math Anxiety

Skip Counting Fun Songs to Learn Multiplication and Division

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Math Fun on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Ann

    Really good point!

    Lots of supplemental interest and skill level reading going on at home… but how about math?! Thanks for the resources and reminder – math is so important!

    • To Ann,
      I find that I personally need to be reminded to practice math facts at home with my kids because they just don’t get enough at school. Then there’s issues of math being confusing for one of my kids who is very visual — algebra which gets introduced in elementary school was and is very hard for her. For my middle, she claims to hate math but she’s good at it. I’d love to find a way to make it more exciting for her. And my youngest loves math. He sees patterns everywhere and the math he does at school is too easy for him. I need to remember to do some math at home with him. Ugh! It’s like you can’t win!

  2. I like this post. My son always comes home with math homework and wants me to start from scratch and teach him as if I were his teacher. It makes me wonder what they teach him in class, or if they even explain it. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s him not understanding or the teacher not explaining. whenever I ask him what the teacher explained he can never tell me much, or he says she did something else in class.
    Charris recently posted…You Gotta Try This!My Profile

    • To Charris,
      My teachers say homework should be a review of what was taught and kids should be able to do on their own with no assistance. I’d probably do a check in conference with his teacher.

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