If your child is struggling with math, working with a tutor sooner rather than later will help them excel and sets a strong foundation for the rest of their education. However, finding the right tutor for your child is not always easy—especially with social distancing guidelines closing libraries and schools, where children would normally meet with their tutor.
Thinkster Math, an innovative new service offering virtual math tutoring, is focused on helping parents find the best tutor for their children, right from the comfort of their own home. This service can help bring your child up to grade level and improve their math skills without having to meet someone in person, keeping your family and the tutor both safe from potential COVID-19 exposure.
But before you find your child the right tutor, it's important to look for signs that they are indeed struggling. Children learn in different ways, and they also struggle in different ways. Slipping grades, lack of interest, and homework trouble are some very common signs that your child us struggling with math, but there are other important indicators to look for if you think your child might need a little extra help.
1. Avoiding School
Does your child try every trick in the book to avoid going to school, or constantly ask to leave school early or see the nurse? Do these calls home tend to line up with math tests or follow a particularly hard night of math homework? And when you bring them home, does your child seem magically cured of whatever mystery ailment they'd had just moments ago?
While there are many reasons your child would fake being sick—like anxiety, social issues, or stress in general—one of the tell-tale signs of trying to avoid a particularly difficult subject is faking sick. Avoiding a class where they struggle could be a sign that they are embarrassed about their performance, or lack the confidence to continue when it seems like the rest of their class does just fine. Avoiding math class can be compared to an adult avoiding making a difficult decision or doing a particularly unfavorable chore. And, just like avoiding a decision or putting off a chore, the longer facing troubles in math class is put off, the harder it can be for your student to catch back up.
2. Behavioral Problems
Have you noticed a decrease in your child's mood, especially when it comes time to do math homework? Does their teacher have to frequently reach out to you about your child being disruptive in class? Have you noticed an increase in arguments, slammed doors, and eye rolls? While mood swings are a common part of growing up, sometimes they can be a sign of problems at school. If your child is acting out more than usual, particularly when math is involved, it could be a sign that they are frustrated with their math struggles.
Rather than punishing your child for their negative behavior, help them get to the root of their frustration, and talk it out with them. This will help you understand how they feel so you can help them, and it will help them understand that their feelings are valid. It is also a good opportunity to introduce the idea of a tutor, and let your child know that their success matters to you.
Does your child fly through their math homework with reckless abandon, making careless mistakes, and not bothering to take the time to correct them? When you get your child's math tests back, do you notice notes from their teacher pointing out mistakes in the most basic steps? Is their work so rushed that their handwriting is nearly unreadable?
Some children take an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to understanding a subject: they either want to understand it all, or they'll show nothing in terms of effort. This is especially true when it comes to math. Although your child might know the foundational steps to solving a problem, if they don't understand the overall concept, they won't see the point in putting effort into entire assignments. If your child is meticulous and careful in areas that they enjoy, but careless and sloppy when it comes to math, it might be a sign that they are unwilling to try out of fear of failure.
Teaching them to take their time and work step-by-step encourages neatness, and helps them draw a clear line between what they understand and where the subject is lost on them.
Not every child excels naturally in every subject, and math is one of those areas where a lot of children struggle from time to time. Investing in a tutor is investing in your child's future, and HelloThinkster is dedicated to ensuring that your child is matched with the best math tutor to suit their needs.