Second grade has a big leap for a lot of students in their math skills and what they need to know. In first grade, students mostly can use their fingers to help solve math problems, especially since they are adding and subtracting single-digit numbers.They are also getting more comfortable with math symbols, like the +, –, and = signs.
When moving into second grade, they are starting to add and subtract 2-digit numbers and counting on their fingers is no longer helpful. They also need to start explaining how they arrived at the right answer instead of just writing down the numbers. They are also doing more mental math. Any of these new things can be a challenge for your child.
How to Tell There’s a Problem
The first thing to do is to look at your child’s work. If they are getting a lot of answers wrong on their tests and homework, but aren’t struggling in other subjects, that’s a sign they are having trouble with math specifically. It’s also a good idea to talk to their teacher, since they’ll have a good idea of where your child is struggling.
If your child is spending a lot of time on their math homework, that can also be a sign they are struggling, even if they are still coming up with the correct answers. Ask your child’s teacher how long they should be spending on each assignment or even each problem if you need a guideline. Also, if your child is getting the correct answers but can’t tell you or the teacher how they got that answer, that may be a tip they need more detailed explanations on how to get those answers.
How You Can Help
A great way to help your child when you notice them struggling is to enroll them in Genie Academy. Wherever your child is specifically struggling, Genie Academy’s program can teach your child how to work smarter. They will also show your child the fun in math, building their confidence and engagement with math.
You can also help your child by talking to them about why math is important and how they should keep practicing. Make sure they know you love and support them through their challenges and assure them that even if their grades don’t improve right away, their learning is important and all progress is positive. The important thing is that they keep trying and practicing, and soon enough they will become a math whiz.
You can also help them with their math skills by using more hands-on tools. Things like blocks, stickers, or even their food can help bring math down to a more concrete level for them. This can be especially helpful for making them feel better about mental math.
Making big jumps going forward each grade can be hard for any student, and any child may need a bit more help or time to catch up to their peers. The most important thing is that they learn math is fun, engaging, and useful in everyday life.1