You have probably noticed that your child’s math homework has become more complicated than it was in third grade. They are expected to do more difficult problems and have to practice more mental math skills. This can be a big leap for a lot of students, so it may be the case that your child has started to struggle in math.
Why it Can Be a Challenge
Even if your child has previously done well in math, the expectations are higher in fourth grade. They now have to multiply and divide with multi-digit numbers and have to work with and compare fractions. These can be hard for your child to grasp, especially if they were not doing very well before. Math is a cumulative subject, so if they do not have the right foundational skills, it only gets more difficult to succeed as they progress.
Fourth grade students also are learning why math is important and how it works, not just to get the right answer. They have to defend and show their work where they may not have had to before, showing all the steps they took to get their answers.
How You Can Help
Your child may be feeling discouraged or frustrated at this point dealing with all these changes. If you notice their grades are slipping, they’re spending too much time on their homework, or you get feedback from their teacher that they’re struggling, there are some things you can do to help.
- Talk to your child’s teacher. The teacher is always the best resource to find out exactly where your child is struggling. They can also help make adjustments so that your child has all the materials and help they need while in class.
- Enroll your child in Genie Academy. Wherever your child is struggling, the teachers at Genie Academy know how to help. They give kind and helpful feedback, not only to your child but to you as well. The program allows your child to find out what foundations they are missing and gives them practice in a safe and fun environment. They not only get a better grasp of their math skills, but they build confidence.
- Discuss learning differences with your doctor. If you suspect your child is showing symptoms of learning differences, they should go to the doctor to get a professional assessment. Things like dyscalculia or ADHD can start to show signs by fourth grade, if not earlier, so this is a good time to catch things like this.
- Talk to your child about math. Your child may be experiencing some math anxiety now that they have more challenges to face. They have harder tests and homework and they are learning at a faster pace which can become overwhelming. Make sure to reassure them you love and support them regardless of their math grade. On the other hand, if they are disengaged from learning math, talk to them about how important math is in daily life.
No matter what grades or marks your child is getting in school, math is a subject that can get difficult in fourth grade. Each child learns at their own pace, so needing a bit of extra help at this stage is normal.1