The idea of being confident doesn’t just appear. It comes with learning new skills and with practice. Sometimes, we feel insecure in our abilities. It doesn’t just have to be with math. Consider something you don’t feel confident with. Then think about your child and how they may be feeling insecure with their math skills. They may be feeling overwhelmed because the teacher is going too fast and they cannot keep up. They might be feeling confused and they don’t know the questions to ask. So, what is a parent or a caregiver supposed to do?
The first thing you want to do is find out what they are struggling with. Sometimes they are feeling so frustrated that they may want to shut down and stop talking or even cry. Allow that for a moment, but really encourage them. Let them know that you are here to support them. Let them know that they are not in trouble. They may be feeling sad and confused. Let them know that if you can talk to them about their frustrations, you can determine where they are getting stuck.
Once you have an idea of where they are struggling, you will want to determine your best course of action. I have mentioned this in prior posts, but if it is appropriate, reach out to the teacher. Schedule a conference with them and have a chat about what can be done to move your child forward. Be supportive to both the teacher and the child. Keeping things positive will help both the teacher and the child to move forward in a positive manner. This is not the time to blame either one. Just create a plan of action. If the teacher cannot work time in to help move your child forward due to scheduling during the school day, then ask for resources that you can use at home to help move them forward. I would encourage you, as a parent, to ask for a follow-up meeting within about 4 weeks to see how things are going. If the teacher doesn’t have time in their schedule to meet before or after school, then ask for a Zoom or Google Meet time during the day.
If your child attends a school where they have a Title 1 Math program, or a math interventionist, ask if your child is eligible for this program. Sometimes, schools will do a Response to Intervention Team meeting and set up a 6 to 9 week plan of action to support a child who is struggling in an area. This may be a solution to your child’s problem.
If you still feel you are not getting the support you need, reach out to the school Principal, Counselor, or School Psychologist and see if your child may be a candidate for testing. If they are, allow the time for the Psychologist to do the academic testing to see if your child has a learning issue. If they qualify for additional services, don’t ignore this. Your child can get additional support and may qualify for an IEP (Individual Education Program). If they do, they will be allowed additional supports that will help support them on their learning journey.
If you want additional help outside of the school, look into math programs in your area. Sometimes area libraries offer services, or even after-school programs have math programs. If none of these are available to you, seek out a qualified professional tutor to work with your child. Find someone who has experience in the area your child needs support. I wouldn’t suggest using a Calculus tutor for a second grader. The tutor will know math, but they may not know 2nd graders. You want to find what works best to support your child.
As your child gets the support that is available to you, be sure to celebrate success. We all want some encouragement as we work on things we are trying to improve upon. Celebrating will help to boost that confidence your child needs. Having support is one of the best ways to build confidence.
I would also encourage your family to add math to your discussions at home. Incorporate it in your cooking, traveling, shopping, yard work, etc. When your child has real-life experiences to draw upon, they build the background knowledge to support their them as they learn new information.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If so, please like and share this information with others. If you are looking for an elementary math tutor for your child, let me know. I am happy to help them! For more information about what I offer, go to midwesttutor.com.
Sheryl is a 32 year teaching veteran and successful online elementary tutor. Are you looking for personalized learning for your child? Let Sheryl know! If you’d like to contact her, send her a message here: