102 Winter 2015 • Academic Spotlight www.TheOldSchoolhouse.com
“IHATEMATH!” isprobablythemostcommon egative sentiment voiced by young scholars during the course of a school day. No other
academic subject seems to elicit such a deep emotional
response. Why do students of all ages and sometimes
their parents express this negative feeling?
Most often, it arises from feelings of frustration—at
not being able to understand certain concepts, or in
not being able to get the correct answer after repeatedly
working a problem, or that so much time and effort
has to be spent on something that is of no interest to
How can parents make math meaningful and
help prevent frustration in this subject area? First,
know what your child’s learning style is. Then look
for a math curriculum which is tailored toward that
style. For instance, a student who is a tactile learner
will understand math concepts like addition and
subtraction much better if he can use manipulatives
to work out problems, rather than just fill in blanks in
Secondly, since math is a sequential subject, be sure
your child spends enough time mastering the basics
before you allow her to move on to more difficult
material. If students don’t thoroughly memorize
the multiplication tables, for example, they will be
handicapped as they progress to higher levels of math.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you
feel you are not able to give your student the kind of
instruction he needs to succeed in math. See if there
is a parent in your local homeschool group who loves
math, or a high schooler who excels in math, would be
willing to tutor your child.
Check out the following companies, which offer
great math products which can help your child do well
in this important subject.