Updated on
November 12, 2008,

**
M.L.
**
asks from
South Lyon, MI
on
November 11, 2008

# 2Nd Grader Struggling with Math

My 7 year old daughter is struggling with math. She seems to join zone out when it comes time for math homework. She is doing well in all of her other subjects. I feel bad for her, but it is very frustrating because it seems like she is not even trying. I suggested a tutor but my husband does not think she needs one as these are simple concepts, i.e., addition, subtraction, patterns, etc. Has anyone ever experienced this with their child, and if so what did you do?

**1** mom found this helpful

### Featured Answers

**
M.B.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 12, 2008

There are great math games that are fun on the internet. Also practice with flash cards. Good luck.

**
S.G.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 11, 2008

HI, M..

I had some math strugglers, too. I made games for them to play. We used posterboard and drew a baseball field. Each base and part of the field had numbers on them. Then we rolled two dice, and the numbers rolled placed them somewhere on the field. Well, we did a soccer and football game, and they just loved it. I forgot all about those...I will have to go dig them out! I did send my oldest daughter to Sylvan, which was okay but SO costly I could not do it long!

I think when they think it is fun, it is not so bad! I have a game called Light 'N Strike Math which my second daughter loves...you hit the correct numbers to the question with a mallot thing. She gets all excited about it.

Either way, have fun!

### More Answers

**
C.J.
**
answers from
Lansing
on
November 12, 2008

M.,

A common trick home-schoolers use is to take the child's interest and tailor the math problems around that. If she is interested in horses add and subtract her toy horses, put them in patterns (big-small, by colors), pretend a horse ran away and teach subtraction, a mare had a baby - this teaches addition.

If she loves music find some songs on-line, learn the songs and then play the instruments with the songs.

Remember math is a language and it can be very difficult for children to learn the language. Any help you can give her will benefit her farther down the road.

Just remember to keep it fun!

-C..

Here is a site with math songs:

http://www.songsforteaching.com/mathsongs.htm

Here is a site with more advanced songs for the future:

http://www.mathwire.com/music/music.html

Here you can search for songs of different categories:

http://www.science-groove.org/MASSIVE/searchbrowse.html

**1** mom found this helpful

**
M.G.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 12, 2008

Hi M.,

I agree with the game and home school ideas. You or your husband, or even older children, sit down with her and do some hands on learning. We've used cheerios, legos, stuffed animals, just about anything that can be counted. My 8 yr old daughter will zone out if I'm not there to "bring her back", especially if there's a concept she's struggling with.

I wouldn't do the tutoring just yet. I think at this stage that mom and dad can be the best ones to help.

HTH

**
F.W.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 12, 2008

Your husband is right oabut 1 thing, that a 7 year old shouldn't b struggling in math. If she is, there is a problem, and that problem needs to be addressed. One thing for sure, if she doesn't get it now, the rest is going to be worse. 1st step, talk to her teacher, have her eyes checked, all of the groundwork. What kind fo a math program are they using in school? There are so many different ones, not everyone learns the same, and she may need a different program. Don't do her homework for her, let her get the bad grades if she can't do it, so the teacher knows for sure there is a problem. It is hard to see your child struggle, but math is one of those things that may need many different approaches until the right fit is found. Maybe Dad should tutor her during this time, and if it doesn't work, then move onto a different tutor, like a teacher that knows how to teach different learners.

**
T.A.
**
answers from
Grand Rapids
on
November 11, 2008

M.,

I too have a son who struggles in school. Something that seems to help-especially in math is playing math games. Somthing about being tutored but in the format of playing a game makes it fun, and easier to grasp. There are lots of math games out there. My personal favorite is called 4-WAY COUNTDOWN it is made by Cadaco.

Basically they have 10 pegs numbered 1-10 and 2 dice and you roll the dice and the object is to flip all the pegs over. You roll the dice and you can either add the numbers or subtract the numbers to equal either 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 or 10 for instance lets say you roll the dice and get a 3 and a 5 you can either add them and flip the 8 over or subtract them and flip the 2 over. You keep going until all the pegs are flipped. The game has 4 sides so up to 4 people can play. My sons all really liked this game.

I showed it to one of the 3rd grade teachers at school and she flipped over it and went out and bought a couple of her own for her classroom.

Something else I really like about this game is you can use it also to multiply and divide to flip the pegs later when they start learning those skills, so you can use it for a long time. I hope this was helpful- good luck to you both I know it can be stressful.

**
L.U.
**
answers from
Lansing
on
November 12, 2008

Get a tutor NOW. The longer your child goes without understanding the basic concepts, the harder math will be. My son had a learning disability with math, and could not understand the most basic on concepts the way they were explained in school. His father and I couldn't understand what it was that he did not understand..... and so his Dad thought he was lazy and tried the " I was never good at math approach". The right tutor made a world of difference. He needed a different way of explanation. After the tutor, my son went from a D- average, to a B+, with an occasional A. He is now a college graduate, working as a college lab tutor.

The longer you wait, letting her think of herself that she is stupid, the more trouble you will have later. Please act now. Your school can recommend a tutor. Do not go with a friend or sibling who is "good at math"..... If it is understanding of concepts, you need a professional tutor. Otherwise, you risk the same problem again: the school explanation doesn't make sense, and it needs to be reframed and presented in a different way. Repeating the same explanation again will not help. It will be money very well spent. Also, an eye exam to rule out difficulty seeing would be a good idea, if she had not had one recently. Sometimes, they just can't see the board when the teacher gives examples.

Good luck. L.

**
S.G.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 11, 2008

HI, M..

I had some math strugglers, too. I made games for them to play. We used posterboard and drew a baseball field. Each base and part of the field had numbers on them. Then we rolled two dice, and the numbers rolled placed them somewhere on the field. Well, we did a soccer and football game, and they just loved it. I forgot all about those...I will have to go dig them out! I did send my oldest daughter to Sylvan, which was okay but SO costly I could not do it long!

I think when they think it is fun, it is not so bad! I have a game called Light 'N Strike Math which my second daughter loves...you hit the correct numbers to the question with a mallot thing. She gets all excited about it.

Either way, have fun!

**
S.C.
**
answers from
Lansing
on
November 11, 2008

M.,

Your request really hit home with me as we went through this with our son when he was a little older than your daughter. Having been there I know you need to address the problem right away before she falls behind or becomes very discouraged. Since they are basic concepts you might try tutoring her yourself. When our son fell behind in math we had him tutored at Sylvan's (which was very good but very expensive). We learned that his difficulty with math was actually caused by problems with reading when he was younger. I am not suggesting that this is your daughter's problem. Only that one learning concept can affect others and it is important to stay on top of them all. These may be simple concepts to adults but to a child who has never tried them before it may seem like Greek. Talk to her teacher first and see what she recommends, she may offer to spend a little one on one time with her to help her along, most teachers will do that. There may be in-school tutors that will work with her during the school day, find out what your options are and go from there. The worst you can do is to ignore it, which I am sure you won't. Good luck to you and your daughter.

S.

**
K.T.
**
answers from
Detroit
on
November 12, 2008

I have to admit that I am a pusher of academics from a very early age and have pushed my son far beyond his grade level academically. I do songs and change the words to suit the concept...have you ever heard "InchWorm"? I learned it on Sesame Street when I was growing up - 2 and 2 are 4, 4 and 4 are 8, etc. Then I start with other numbers - 1 and 4 are ??, 3 and 6 are ?? to get him thinking of other numbers.

My son's school is using "EveryDay Math" where they learn to count change, find patterns, add and subtract and do story problems. They find things around the house to count (how many toes are in your family, estimate the number of items in the grocery bag and then count them, make a pattern out of cereal, buttons or whatnot and draw it) which makes a good association. Just remember- numbers and counting are everywhere and make a great activity when doing errands, waiting in line, in the car, etc.

My son's teacher told me that she was trying to get a few of her advanced students to "mentor" others who weren't getting it and having them try to explain the concepts to their peers. That way, the students are getting it explained by someone near their own brain level. Could your 9 yr. old tutor her? She may feel more comfortable with someone closer to her own age explaining it (this also strengthens your 9 yr old as a mentor - a win win situation).

Your daughter is smart.....she just needs a little fun nudge to master the concepts. I believe everybody has some mental blocks against learning specific things....that's why no one is an expert at everything. We all have to try harder at some things that don't come easy, so it'll come and your daughter will be so proud of herself when it does.