November 27, 2006,
A.H. asks from Honolulu, HI on November 22, 2006
How to Help My Daughter in Math
My daughter is 8 years old almost 9 and she is having a hard time grasping the concept of math. I've tried time and time again explaing it to her. I've tried visual aids and that seemed to help a little. She sort of got the addition and subtraction portion of math and now in school they are learning multiplication. The way that the schools are teaching math is very different from how I learned it. Sometimes I don't even understand her homework, how am I supposed to help her if I don't understand it? It doesn't help when she has three or four different people trying to teach her the same concept four different ways. Does anyone know of a way that I can help her understand math easier?
1 mom found this helpful
C.Q. answers from Las Vegas on November 22, 2006
i would try to teach her the way you were taught, it doesn't matter which way she learns as long as she is able to understand it. eventually she'll figure out a way that works for her. but keep trying and don't give up, she needs all the support she can get.
K.W. answers from Eugene on November 27, 2006
I'm not addressing your daughter's math difficulty directly, but the idea of math and science for our daughters.
Unfortunately, there is still a lingering idea in our society that girls are not as good at math and science as boys; as mothers, parents, education advocates, etc we need to do whatever we can to dispel this myth, including not "dissing" math and science to our daughters.
I am a mom, and I am also a mechanical engineer working in the research and development field for a major technology firm; I am the ONLY woman on my team, and was one of 8 in my graduating class of 71. This is not right; while it is better than it was 50 years ago, we have a long way to go.
My oldest daughter is 18; HS senior and taking AP calculus(though she doesn't want to be a scientist or engineer- she is going to major in business), my middle daughter (though she says she "hates" math at the moment) is also in advanced classes, and my 9-y-o son loves the science experiments we do at home for fun.
My point is just this- even if you can't help her with math, it's often not hard to find someone who can. But try not to tell her that math is "boring", uninteresting, or especially unimportant or 'not something most girls are good at'...(I have heard people say that, believe it or not!!!)
Good luck, and I hope your kids start to get it and more, enjoy it.
K.B. answers from Spokane on November 23, 2006
I completely understand, and I am srry there is a program i see on tv alot and its a pen i think by leap frog and its new and helps with math, spelling, spanish, you might want to look into that. happy thanksgiving.
V.D. answers from Seattle on November 25, 2006
first before you can tutor her, you need to figure out what kind of learner she is, visual, auditory or hands on. once you know that, you can take the approach that will best fit her learning style, and she will catch on much quicker.
you can try
both of these offer free learning style quizzes
C.S. answers from Portland on November 23, 2006
Hi A. and Happy Thanksgiving!
I saw your request and had to reply...I feel for you. Math was always difficult for me growing up and has also been a burden to my daughter. Working with children having learning disibilities and having a son with "autism" I've learned to research and reach out to as many helpful resources as I can (library, internet, interaction groups, etc.).
Some individuals have difficulty learning and when they hinder a person's way of learning, it's a "disability" that needs to be addressed. Learning disabilities include problems that deal with mental processes--such as reading difficulties (dyslexia), writing difficulties (dysgraphia), difficulties in paying attention or concentrating (attention deficit hyperacticity disorder) and difficulties in performing mathematical operations (dyscalculia), which might be an area where your daughter needs support.
Also, working with her teacher, school counselor and other learning support staff to know more about what help is available (tutoring, assessment evaluations, counceling, etc.) should lesson the burden on you and your daughter.
I'm not an expert, but I have been working with children ages 5 on up to 21 with mild to severe learning disabilities as a profession for almost 9 years and feel I can offer the help and support to get you going in the right direction.
Reaching out to others, admitting there is a problem and being an advocate for our children is a great step in ensuring their success!
P.S. If you enjoy reading, I'd recommend "My Thirteenth Winter" by Samantha Abeel. It's a true story/memoir of a girls struggle to overcome her phobia with math and all that's associated with it... from telling time, remembering her locker combination, or counting out change at a checkout counter--and she was in seventh grade.
"But in her thirteenth winter, she found the courage to confront her problems--and was diagnosed with a math-related learning disability. Slowly, Samantha's life began to change again. She discovered that she was stronger than she'd ever thought possible--and that sometimes, when things look bleakest, hope is closer than you think."--Scholastic Inc.
D.B. answers from Los Angeles on November 23, 2006
First and for most have you tried discussing this issue with the teacher. Or finding out if the school has a tutoring program. Many schools offer programs where older students tutor youger students in subjects they are having a difficult time in. The students will have most likely have leaned the math the way your daughter is being taught. My other suggestion is when it starts getting to be to much stop and take a break. The worksheet is not going anywhere and you can always come back to it. You do not want your daughter to see that the math frustrates you also. Or maybe while she does other work you can try to work out some of the worksheet problems in advance so when it is time do do the math you already have some answers and can help her work through the problems better. Best of luck. I was never a math person either.
G.S. answers from Anchorage on November 24, 2006
Hi there..Happy Thanksgiving! I could totally relate to your letter. I have a 16 year old and I figured out long ago tht there are some things God did not bless me with and Math is one of them..:) My daughter was getting more frustrated by me trying to help and yes, you are correct in being worried about learning it differently. I didn't think it mattered as long as the answer was the same...Unfortunately, my daughter informed me that this is not the case. Schools and teachers are different.I found that the better her relationship with her teacher the less difficult the lessons. Look up Kumon in your phone book. They are a great resource!Good Luck! Remember, just being involved helps her to feel less alone. Math is WAY different than it was for us!!! Hugs,