Your child has overcome a lot of hurdles so far, including tackling the start of algebra and geometry, if they haven’t started already. However, even if they’ve been doing well so far, their math grades may have started to slip. Algebra in particular may have become challenging for them, and they may be struggling to keep up in class.
Seventh grade marks the point where math is much more abstract instead of concrete–they are no longer trying to find numerical sums and are now solving complex equations. They may also be applying their mathematics skills and formulae in their science classes, which can start to compound the confusion.
Of course, if your child has struggled with arithmetic math skills, they will find algebra nearly impossible. In order to work through algebraic equations, inequalities, and probabilities, they need to have mastered multiplication and fractions.
Tackling algebra requires analytic and qualitative reasoning to work with numbers. Your child is likely used to solving math problems arithmetically, but may find it difficult to transition to working through an algebraic problem. These abstract thinking skills can feel too challenging for them if they lack some foundational skills.
Further, your child may be starting to experience some math anxiety. This can start to crop up in seventh grade, particularly as their standardized tests start to include more complicated problems to solve. Even if they know how to solve their problems on their homework, their tests and quizzes may be too worrisome for them to succeed.
How to Help
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help.
- Start with a conference with their teacher. Your child’s teacher will have the best idea of what your child is struggling with and will likely know how to help them directly. They can also be a resource for recommending ways to practice at home without adding to their stress or workload.
- You can also enroll your child in Math Genie. Wherever your child is struggling, the program at Math Genie is designed to not only help your child catch up, but even get ahead of what they’re learning in class. The teachers provide kind and helpful feedback to you both after each class, and they can learn whatever they need in a safe and fun environment.
- Talk to your child about their math class to make sure there aren’t outside factors bringing them down. Seventh grade can be a tricky social field, especially if they are switching rooms to have classes with different groups of peers. Even if their other classes are fine, the environment in their math class may not be helpful for them. They could have a bully in their class or even simply not be engaging with their teacher. These are factors that usually can be ironed out with their school to help give them the best opportunity to learn.
No matter where your child is struggling, seventh grade can be a hard transition. However, make sure to remind your child that learning these algebraic skills are essential to their continuing education, even if it seems challenging.1