The results are in, and it’s clear American students are struggling to compete with other countries when it comes to math scores. The results of an international exam revealed that the US ranked 31st in math literacy.
Whether you’re a student trying to improve your skills or a parent teaching your child how to get better at math, there are a few tried and true tricks that can help. Here are the steps you can take that will make learning math easier.
Believe You Can Understand
This first step is more important than many people realize. If you want to know how to get better at math, you have to believe you have the skills to learn. Believe you can understand it with enough practice to give yourself the confidence you need to succeed.
It’s called self-efficacy, and it plays a huge role in how you feel about yourself and how you achieve your goals.
Teach your children that they can do it with enough practice and effort. It’s also important to teach them that it’s okay not to get it right away and that they can (and should) ask questions when they need help.
Take Learning Into Your Own Hands
Whether you’re a student or a parent, you should know that taking learning outside of the classroom is one of the biggest keys to success.
Students may need more one-on-one coaching than the classroom can provide them. Not all students learn at the same pace, after all.
There are many online materials meant to help students improve their math skills. There are also plenty of tutors willing to help your child develop their skills outside of school.
For teachers or homeschooled children, we recommend taking a look at Derivita for excellent online math homework options.
Start With the Simple Questions
Before tackling the more complex problems, your child needs to learn to master the basics. Have them start with the easy questions, and have them do those problems a few times until they get it.
They should also be able to explain their process through their work. It’s vital to understand how and why those formulas work before moving on to more complex equations.
Practice questions and exercises are an excellent way to hone their skills. If the teacher only assigned odd-numbered questions, have your child do odd problems for their homework and work on the even-numbered ones in their free time.
If your child is struggling, it can help to solve problems out loud. This allows both you and your child to understand what they’re doing as they work through each question.
Make Practice Tests
Take all the problems that your student has been studying and create a mock test for them. This not only helps your child practice more, but it also helps them to prepare for the in-classroom exam.
If you don’t feel confident making a practice test yourself, you can find plenty online.
The Basics on How to Get Better at Math
Now you have a few tips on how to get better at math, but don’t stop here. Improving math skills takes many hours of practice, and some teaching methods will work better for your child than others.
Take a look at some of the other sections on our website for more tips on helping your child succeed.