If a student has an aversion to math, there’s a reason. Parents think it’s that the kid doesn’t “get it.” Picture an iceberg. It’s nothing compared to what’s below the surface. No one’s looking there when it comes to math hate.
The student knows what is under that water. He or she probably has flashbacks about it so often that it goes unnamed and unspecified. Therein is the mystery, aka the root cause(s). It can be more than one thing. Anybody with a problem started out with just one. It increased in number every time they were introduced to a new topic or the next math course. The parent probably doesn’t know this regardless of the type of school. Guess what? The kid is keeping it all but the vague “I hate math” to himself or herself. It’s beneath the cloud of current math assignments. The thing left unlearned is now the rock inside of a snowball becoming an avalanche.
Maybe everything was fine in 1st and 2nd grade math. If so, that proves there was no math issue then.
Say the student now has an issue with math in 3rd grade, which is common. What if the kid never masters multiplication tables? Unaddressed, he or she goes to 4th grade with a hole in math knowledge. When he or she starts studying long division, that will be a big problem. Dividing 1,542 by 30 requires multiplication skills. The neglected situation will rear its ugly head during fractions. Why? They are division problems that get added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. They will also convert to decimals and percents, which also get the same treatment. The next thing you know, they are unable to function at the assigned grade level for math. All of this happens by the age of nine or 10.
That’s how an issue returns with a vengeance.
Shortcomings of Social Promotion
Sometimes parents are unclear about the progression of school subjects. Parents may think that the next course could prove the solution for years of struggling. They really believe that the right teacher or situation will break the cycle.
Math builds on principles previously learned over time. That’s because they are foundational. Every principle or topic is the basis for another math premise. It doesn’t improve long-standing issues. Who removes the toddler from the wading pool to throw it into the ocean? It actually happens often, mathematically speaking. That’s why kids struggle with math. The old problems are never addressed or mastered before trying to teach them more math. Drowning is likely. Think of it as an infection that goes untreated. The acute becomes chronic. Antibiotics might come to mind.
Reality Check Cashing
It’s difficult to catch up a student that far behind in math.
- Teachers only have so much time for it. After all, they may have other students.
- Teaching assistants are in the same boat. They have time limits based on their job descriptions.
- Willing tutors need far more time than they’ll get. There’s usually an hourly limit or agency policy that prevents them from doing more, depending on the school. That’s assuming all parties are on board.
- Many parents don’t want to pay for tutoring. It’s a temporary expense, but…
- Some parents can’t afford it. Enough said…
- The student has to juggle math at the current grade level with the remedial topics. That’s a great deal of work they’re probably unwilling to do. Focusing on both is hard. They probably don’t want to do extra homework. It is asking a lot by that stage.
Math Without Pressure (Ages 13-17) is remedial math for the holes in math knowledge. It is also aimed at those who are not ready for pre-algebra yet. http://bit.ly/2vqEbB1
Pre-Algebra You Need to Know includes a remedial math refresher. It is for:
- Those ready for pre-algebra
- Preventing issues with higher math for the algebra-bound
- Students who have taken it before and still struggle with courses beyond that http://bit.ly/2vuFSOL