Help Your Child by Filling in Math Holes

Is your child not quite able to master math, but you’re not sure why? Do you realize there are some holes in your child’s math education, but you aren’t 100% sure what the holes are? Let me offer you some help. I will highlight some areas that you want to make sure your child understands. It is crucial that your child has a solid foundation in math if you want him or her to do well in higher levels of math.

Possible Holes in Your Child’s Math Education

gaps in kids math education

So let’s get into it. Here are some possible holes in your child’s math foundation that may be causing him not to be able to perform well in mathematics.

  1. First, would you go to a foreign country to stay for a long period of time and not learn any of the language of the country?  You may have heard people say before that math is a foreign language to them. How is your child going to effectively do word problems if he doesn’t know what commonly used words in math mean?  What if you were trying to put together something and part of the instructions were in English and part in a language you didn’t know.  How difficult do you think it’d be for you to get that thing put together. Maybe you need to go back to the beginning and make sure your child knows that when he is asked to find the sum of two numbers, he’s being asked to add them.  Does he realize that the word of means to multiply and is means equals to?  A child who does not know commonly used words in math will tend to struggle to do word problems.  And we know to be a good math student, you NEED to be able to do WORD PROBLEMS.  If you want your child to do well in math, make sure that he knows commonly used words in math.
  2. Does your child realize there are 3 ways to write division?  He can use the division symbol  ÷, or he can use the division house (the square root sign √ ), and the third way, he may not also know is a form of division is the FRACTION BAR.  So for example, 2 ÷ 5  is the SAME as 2/5 is the same as 5√2.
  3. Does your child realize that the % sign means to divide by 100? Knowing this will help your child change percents to fractions. So for example, 37% can be changed to a fraction by understanding that the % sign means to divide by 100, and by also understanding that the fraction bar means to divide so that 37% = 37/100.  Go here to see How to Change Percent to a Fraction with step by step instructions.
  4. Has your child memorized the first dozen or so perfect squares?  Your student should know that 0 squared is 0, 1 squared is 1, 2 squared is 4, 3 squared is 9, 4 squared is 16, 5 squared is 25, ……., 11 squared is 121, 12 squared is 144.  He will need to know perfect squares so that he can take the square roots of numbers.
  5.  Is your child dependent upon a calculator to do arithmetic calculations?  Is there something you used to be REALLY good at, but now you can barely remember how to do it?  A possible reason for this may be that you haven’t done it in AGES.  Well, imagine that your child uses a calculator almost every time it’s time to do some type of arithmetic calculation.  Do you think that perhaps he may forget how to do some of the calculations by himself.  Or at least, he may not be as sharp doing the calculations as he could be.

So if your child is struggling in math, check to see if he has any of these holes. Did you find this helpful? Please comment below with any questions or suggestions.

If you found this helpful, stay tuned for a book that is to be released this fall called 20 Possible Holes in Your Child’s Math Education.

20 Possible Math Holes in Your Child's Math Education

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  • Latreil Jackson
    Reply

    These are great tips to keep in mind. As a fellow math coach, I relate learning math to learning a new language as well. My “Word Problem Wednesdays” series on YouTube helps break down word problems so that students can actually comprehend what is being asked of them and they can identify the operations they need to use and the amount of steps they need to take to get to the answer. In higher math classes like Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry, I’ve learned other holes like GCF, LCM and Integers to name a few. We really have to help students tighten up these basic concepts so that they can build on them later in math.

    • Shenek Alston
      Reply

      Very cool. Yes, GCF, LCM, and integers are definitely holes for some kids. One tip I give for students when solving word problems is “Did you answer the question?”. Many times students will give an answer but it’s NOT the answer to what was asked. 🙂 Feel free to share your youtube channel with everyone as well. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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