If you’ve been around Educational Connections for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about my first encounter with tutoring—and it wasn’t as a tutor. I was a student. It was the summer between fourth and fifth grade, and I simply could not figure out long division.
All the steps confused and frustrated me, and I never could seem to get it right. That summer, my mom got me my first tutor. I biked to her house every week until I finally mastered long division and regained my self-confidence.
I bring up that story today to say this: Math concepts are hard to study. I experienced it myself as a student, and we hear it from kids and parents every day.
The biggest challenge is that math is incredibly hands-on. You can’t just throw some definitions on an index card or quiz your child aloud on the ride to school. Fortunately, our head tutor Jan Rowe has a technique that can help.
Watch this short video to see how you can turn the math homework your child is already doing into a helpful study tool that can be used again and again before their next big math test:
Don’t you just love how simple that is? Here’s all you need to do to use this strategy with your child. (It works for all ages!)
1. Grab some graph paper.
This isn’t required, but many students find it easier to keep track of numbers when using graph paper to line them up properly.
2. Write the steps on the right side of the sheet.
Using your child’s textbook or notes from class, help them write out the steps on the right side of the sheet, so they can easily follow them as they work through their homework problem.
3. Work the problem on the left side of the page.
Help your child write the homework problem on the left side of the page, beside the steps they need to follow. This allows them to stay focused and on-track, especially when working through a lot of steps.
4. Keep the homework sheet handy for easy access later.
Now that you have a sample problem and the steps to solve it on one easy-to-read piece of paper, don’t throw it away! Store any practice sheets you create in one convenient place, so your child can use them to review steps and work through more sample problems leading up to their next big test.
It’s that simple! This strategy isn’t complicated, time-consuming, or expensive to try, and it makes studying math much easier and more effective. Try it out with your child this week, then hit reply to let me know how it went!
Studying math is hard. We can help!
If your child needs a bit of extra support to conquer confusing math concepts, please don’t feel like you have to relearn it all yourself just to help out. (Math has changed so much since we were kids, hasn’t it?)
Instead, click below to request a tutor, and we’ll send someone to your home to help your child one-on-one. It’s the easiest way to give your child the skills and, more importantly, the confidence they need to conquer math, school, and any other challenges life throws their way!