Here’s How to Help Your Kids “Get” Math

We are so thankful for our sponsors at IXL for providing this great information so that we are able to help our children grow and succeed in school!

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A strong foundation in math is a strong foundation for the future, but for some kids, learning math can be difficult or frustrating. Here are a few ways you can help your kids really understand math—and even grow to like it!

Get personal

Every child learns differently, so textbooks or paper worksheets may not suit the style or pace at which your kids learn most effectively. But personalized or adaptive learning programs like IXL, a popular website and app aligned to the Colorado education standards, can provide your kids with content tailored to their needs. For example, as they answer questions correctly, they’ll get more challenging problems. If they answer incorrectly, they’ll see easier questions so that they can review and practice basic concepts. This means your kids are challenged at just the right level and pace, preventing them from getting frustrated with content that’s beyond their reach. Some schools use adaptive programs in the classroom, but you can also purchase a subscription for your child to use for extra practice at home.

Offer immediate support 

It can be discouraging for kids when they answer questions incorrectly—and they may not even know until they get their homework or quiz back whether they understood the math concepts. The antidote? Make sure your children get immediate feedback on their work, and provide guidance as soon as they start to struggle. On IXL, students know right away if they answered incorrectly, and receive a step-by-step explanation of how to solve the problem. This ensures that your kids understand how to answer the question next time and feel confident in their ability to keep trying.

Review basic concepts

In math, everything builds upon concepts you’ve learned previously, so if your kids are getting stuck on a new skill, have them go back and practice easier problems in that category. IXL offers access to all grade levels from K-12, and lists skills in order of difficulty, so you can quickly find and practice foundational skills.

Emphasize problem solving, not memorization

Finally, truly understanding math means learning concepts well enough to solve problems you’ve never seen before—not just memorizing steps for one problem and hoping it works on everything. Help your kids really “get” math by talking to them about what they’re learning, asking them to explain their process, and discussing why each step works. Work math into everyday activities (e.g. “If we’re doubling this cake recipe, how many cups of flour should we use?”) and give them a variety of ways to learn about the same concept. IXL is great for this – it offers thousands of math skills with multiple ways to practice each topic.

Programs like IXL a perfect supplement for what your children are learning in school. “My son has always dreaded math and now he looks forward to it with,” says Debbie F. of Loveland, Colorado. Visit www.ixl.com/colorado to find out how IXL can help your kids excel at math!

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