In order to become proficient in math, students must develop good study habits. Students are accustomed to studying only for tests and not on a daily basis.
You can improve your child's study skills by the following:
Setting a Schedule
Math concepts are cumulative. Students build new math knowledge and skills based on previous knowledge and skills. It is important to be proficient at basic math skills before learning more advanced ones.
The average grade 1-8 math curriculum contains about 100-150 math lessons (much more for high school). Considering there are about 190 school days a year, it doesn't leave much room to review concepts over the year (days are lost to field trips, sickness, special days, presentations, etc...
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Since a new math lesson is taught almost every day, students must review their math lessons daily in order to keep up. They must know and understand the math from today before learning the lesson tomorrow. Finding a Comfy Spot
Find a spot where your child is comfortable. It is trite to say that children should study somewhere quiet, but that may not always be the best idea. Silence often leads to daydreaming. I have had many students (myself included) who work well with noise; in fact, they can tune out distractions and focus better on their work.
Some children feel uncomfortable in solitude. They would rather be at the kitchen table, or in the living room. You know your child best. Mastering Basic Facts
Since math is cumulative, it is important that your child reviews basic math facts before attempting difficult math concepts and skills for homework.
Short Study Time
Math homework can often be tedious and detail oriented. In a short amount of time, your child might become overwhelmed with formulae, different math operations, and a whole slew of numbers, shapes, and graphs. It is commonly understood that most children can study for about 10 minutes at a time before losing focus. This applies to math homework as well.
Ultimately, you will want your child to review math skills and complete math homework in shorter time frames but with more frequency. For example, your child could do some math work for ten minutes, take a two minute break, do some other work, and then come back to math for ten minutes. Rinse and repeat.
Make Math Real
The best way to help your child with math homework is to provide real-life examples. That is, show your child how his or her math homework applies to real life. For example, when learning about fractions, have your child help measuring ingredients when cooking. Or, when helping your child learn about volume, use a measuring cup to find the volume of different containers around the home. If your child is learning about data management and graphing, point out real-life graphs in magazines and in the newspaper. This will show your child that math has real-life applications and it will get your child more interested in his or her homework.