First grade is a big time of transition for your child. Their schoolwork has become more challenging and more demanding of their time. Their day has also probably become a lot longer. For a lot of children, this transition can be tough, especially for the new work they have to do in math class.
By age 6, when your child is most likely entering first grade, they can already do simple addition and subtraction with numbers up to 10. This is also the time when they are figuring out how to answer simple word problems. They are also learning about fractions, especially halves, thirds, and quarters.
Common struggles for first grade students can often be a result of children developing at different rates. A lot of development is happening between ages 6 and 7, and not all children have an understanding of these concepts at the same time. Your child can struggle with anything from fractions to telling time to subtraction.
How to Tell Your Child Is Struggling
An easy way to tell if your child is struggling in math is to look at their grades. If they are doing well in other subjects but not in math, that can be a sign that you need to address their math skills and not something else like vision changes or learning differences. It is also helpful to talk to your child’s teacher since they will likely know what specific concepts your child needs help with.
It is also important to ask your child directly what they think about math. This shouldn’t be about asking what went wrong with a test or assignment or how they got the wrong answers, but instead asking them about how they feel about math. Are they struggling with something specific, like word problems, or is it math as a whole? Are they feeling anxious about their tests? Pinning down the problem is the most important part of finding the solution.
How to Help Your Child in Math
The best way you can help your child when they’re struggling is to enroll in Math Genie. The teachers at Math Genie are kind, helpful, and responsive to students at all levels of ability. They can address specific problems as well as help your child feel more confident about their budding math skills.
You can also help your child at home. Have your child get involved with you in activities where math is used naturally, like cooking, baking, and shopping. It can be a big confidence boost for your child to help you with grown-up things and gives them a chance to practice math in a real-world setting. For example, have them help you bake cookies but double or halve the recipe so they have to tell you how much of each ingredient to put in.
You should also make sure to reassure them that math is important to learn and will get easier as they practice. Don’t tell them things like how math is hard or boring; math is fun and important! Also, try to take some pressure off of them if they are having any test anxieties. Let them know you love them and they are smart no matter how they do on any test.
First grade is a challenging time for any child, but learning math doesn’t have to be hard. Exploring the subject at Math Genie leads to a lot of success, and they will find out how fun math can really be!