Problems with Fifth Grade Math

Posted by Tiara Swinson on November 30, 2021

Fifth grade is a complicated time for your child. They’re getting ready for middle school, learning a lot of information very quickly, and are going through a very dense time of personal growth all at the same time. Any or all of these challenges can be plenty to make your child feel stressed or overwhelmed, but you may have noticed that their math skills are starting to slip. Math classes have only gotten more and more challenging since they started elementary school, so it would be no small wonder that they are having some trouble by the time they get to fifth grade. 

Signs of Struggles

There are a few things to look out for to see if your child is having trouble in math.

  • Lower grades or feedback from their teacher. This is the most direct way to see if your child is struggling with math, especially if their other grades are holding up well. If they have a lot of red marks on their tests and homework, you may need to look into it more.
  • 5th grade mathTaking a long time to calculate problems with two-digit numbers. By fifth grade, students should be able to take a pair of  two-digit numbers and add them together without needing pencil and paper. Even if they take a different method to add the numbers together than what they learned in school, they should still come to the right answer.
  • Not knowing their multiplication tables. By fifth grade, they need to have this foundation mastered, or they are not going to be able to multiply multiple-digit numbers.
  • Division confusion. If your child is confused by division as a concept, they are not going to be able to do more complex equations as they go through fifth grade and beyond.
  • Hating or avoiding math homework. If your child is either not doing their homework or will only do it if you practically force them, that is a big sign they are struggling. Even if they are doing their work, it may take them way too long to complete or lead to a lot of frustration.

How You Can Help

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help.

  • Enroll in Genie Academy. Wherever your child is struggling with their math skills, Genie Academy can help. The teachers give helpful and kind feedback, building their skills along with their confidence. 
  • Talk to your child’s teacher. Their teacher will have the most direct information on what your child is struggling with and how to help. It could be something simple where you and your child’s teacher can make an adjustment to help your child become more engaged.
  • Talk to your child. They may have developed math anxiety at this crucial point in their academic career. They may be feeling overwhelmed by the complexity or amount of work, or even feel nervous about testing. Math anxiety is a common problem to have, so they may need a bit of help with overcoming it.
  • Integrate math skills into daily life. Ask your child to help you with balancing your budgets or figuring out how much groceries you can get in a single trip. Having them be part of practicing math skills in real-world settings can give them the motivation boost to keep trying or become engaged in what they’re learning in class.

No matter where they are struggling, make sure your child knows that building their math skills is a lifelong endeavor. They are going to keep building up those skills as they get further along in middle and high school, so strengthening their skills now is essential.


Topics: Math Genie, Math Skills, Fifth Grader, Math Tools, Fifth Grade

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