Third grade marks a big change for your child’s academic career. They are expected to know and understand more information, as well as analyze and retain it for future assessments. Math is a cumulative subject, which means it builds up every year, adding to what your child already knows. Even if your child is doing well in other subjects, their math grades may have started to slip when they got to third grade.
How You Can Tell
Other than lower grades or feedback from their teacher, there are a few signs that your child is struggling in math:
- Lack of foundation. If your child doesn’t understand some of the more basic math functions, they can’t move on to more complex math. For example, if they have a shaky understanding of adding multiple numbers, multiplication will be confusing for them. If they are still counting on their fingers, then adding or subtracting larger numbers (more than 10) will be difficult.
- Having math anxiety. Third grade is often the point where young students start to have anxiety surrounding math. You can ask your child how they feel about their math homework, tests, or even how they feel when they get to math in class. If they complain about being worried, nervous, or even that they have physical symptoms like stomach aches and headaches, that is a good indicator they are having some math anxiety.
- Learning differences. If you notice that your child has a hard time reading numbers and applying them in math equations, this may be a sign they have dyscalculia, or “math dyslexia.” The best way to find out if this is an issue is to take your child to the doctor and have them assessed by a professional.
How to Help
Wherever the problem is, if your child is struggling in math or in school generally, a good step is to enroll your child in Genie Academy. Genie Academy’s program can address all kinds of problems, including math anxiety, helping your child learn math and have fun doing it. If your child has a hard time with number families, for example, the teachers at Genie Academy will show them the “buddy” system and give them plenty of practice.ms
It’s also helpful to have a conference with your child’s teacher to find out if there are specific areas where your child needs more help. If they are having trouble with multiplication, for example, focusing home practice on that will be helpful.
You can also have your child help you with math on a daily basis. Have them cook or bake with you, doubling, halving, or changing the measurements for a recipe. They can also help you with time management, finding out how much time you have left in the hour for a show or timing how long it takes you to do something. Asking your child for help in these ways builds their confidence along with their skills, and shows them how math is important for daily life.
Wherever your child is struggling, remember that every child learns in their own time in their own way. Needing some extra help sometimes is normal, and with practice and confidence, they can succeed in math.1