Learn Math

Where is your child’s current level of understanding?

Where is your child’s current level of understanding?

Where is your child’s current level of understanding

Caregivers of elementary school children often feel confident about their child’s current math level. However, many times children may appear to be doing well in mathematics at school, but they may not really understand the math they are working on. Simply by playing the game of school, children can follow the rules and directions, making them appear to understand, get good grades, and move onto the next unit. Often, a child may appear to be doing well, so parents don’t realize the opportunity they can give them by investing in extra math support now, which can give them the skills needed in the future.

Different Generations

Our generation grew up in a time when memorizing rules and procedures that result in an answer is what defined math. However, “the mathematics students need to learn today is not the same mathematics that their parents and grandparents needed to learn. When today’s students become adults, they will face new demands for mathematical proficiency that school mathematics should attempt to anticipate.” – National Research Council (2016)

Society has become increasingly globalized and interconnected; information and technology is rapidly evolving. Students of today will be expected to solve problems we can’t even anticipate yet. Due to this, basic content knowledge is no longer enough to compete in the world’s market. Students need to be well versed in complex problem solving and decision making, as those are skills computers have not yet taken away from us. So, it is no longer about following rules to get the correct answer, it is now about conceptually understanding the math well enough that it can be applied to any and all complex situations.

Surface Level of Math Knowledge

This surface level knowledge of math that students learn may work in the short term, but they will eventually encounter barriers. These usually appear in grade 10 or 11, when they are expected to be applying fundamental math concepts to increasingly complex math problems. This is typically the point where caregivers decide to invest in supplemental math support.

Well, my friends, this is too late. The gap in understanding has widened so significantly that mending the root cause of the struggle is extremely difficult while maintaining the grade-level material. So, what happens? The tutor acts as a band-aid. Helping the student get through this quiz, this test, this unit, this year but never actually creating a sustainable environment where the student will be able to act independently without the aid of a one-on-one support system.

By simply focusing on getting the student through high school math, your child will be extremely limited on not only post-secondary program choices but career choices. This is a mindset that many caregivers have that needs to be changed in order to develop a society of critical problem solvers.

Think About the Future

Getting back to the original point, if your child is only in grade 6, you may not be thinking about their career choices or post-secondary programs…

Fair enough, but you should be aware that your child is currently developing the building blocks of all math that they will be exposed to in their academic career. If your child is simply following memorized rules and procedures and does not have the conceptual understanding, they will falter in math at some point. At Dropkick Math, we can help your child better understand the Four Pillars of mathematics that can build confidence and understanding in math for years to come.  

With Dropkick Math’s programs, parents can help their children better understand the prerequisite math so they can successfully meet the curriculum requirements for their current and future grades.

Have your child take this Early Indicators Check-In to determine if there are any gaps in understanding. We will then provide you with recommended Dropkick Math programs that target the missing knowledge. This will be the key to remediating common misunderstandings that arise from students being introduced to concepts before they are ready or because the concepts are presented in a developmentally inappropriate way. Get started today on your child’s future math success!

Learn Math

Why does it benefit me to learn math alongside my child?

Why does it benefit me to learn math alongside my child?

Why does it benefit me to learn math alongside my child

Being a part of your child’s learning is vital for their success. By being actively involved and setting high expectations for your child, you can help guide them towards having high values of doing well in school. 

Over three decades of research has found that student success is positively impacted by parent involvement regardless of socioeconomic status, background, or parent’s level of education.  When you learn alongside your child, you are setting an example while strengthening your relationship. Your child will see your confidence building in mathematics which will help build them up as well. Your attitude about learning can directly influence your child’s educational success. 

Math Anxiety

Approximately 50 percent of Americans suffer from a condition known as “math anxiety” which leaves them feeling like they “just can’t do math.” This type of anxiety can start as early as five years old and can last into adulthood. 

In the past, you may have learned math through traditional algorithms, which included “carrying,” “borrowing,” or “putting a zero.” If you didn’t understand what you were doing with this type of mathematics, you are not alone. Many knew that it was fast and efficient and got them the correct answer most of the time, but they didn’t fully understand how it worked. This led many to believe that simply following steps to get quick answers was the best way to do math. But, the reality is that it never translated well in the real world. 

Instead of showing your child the way you learned math, which may inadvertently do more damage than good, Dropkick Math will expose you to new learning strategies your child is experiencing in their classroom. We have much more information now about how the human brain develops and learn new concepts. this translates into more effective teaching strategies that develop conceptual understanding and improves retention of knowledge. Once you start to learn and understand these new ways of engaging with mathematics, you may even overcome your own anxiety. 

Be Positive

No matter how you feel about math, and if you suffer from math anxiety, it is imperative not to talk negatively about the subject. Often when a child hears their caregiver say, “I never use math,” or “I am no good at math,” they receive the message that only certain people can do math, and that it may not be necessary for daily life. The more often children hear negative attitudes towards math, the more deep-rooted their dislike for mathematics may become. 

Being positive about math also includes showing your child how important and valuable it is in everyday life. By making it relevant to them, you are creating an interest for them to learn about it. Children learn by imitating the people around them, so try and make math an important part of experiences to help develop healthy academic skills. 

Be A Math Role Model

By learning math along with your child, you can become a role model for them. Try to talk out loud as you work your way through everyday tasks. This way, they will see you using mathematics in daily life and will begin to mimic your behaviour. Thinking aloud allows your child to hear how you think and will help them develop the essential skills needed for posing and solving problems. 

A great way to use the “thinking out loud” strategy is at the grocery store. As you fill your basket, try recording the prices in a small notebook and saying them out loud. Before you get to the register, add the prices to get a total and see how close you and your child can get to the sum once you cash out. 

You can also make use of the scales available at the grocery store to create a learning experience. Try to estimate the weight of a bag of apples and then use the scale to get an accurate measure in kilograms. This can be a great teaching moment for you to show your child the importance of understanding measurements. 

Your Child’s Education

It is a common misconception that it is difficult for parents to contribute to their child’s math education. While it is often advised to read with your child to develop their skills or play in the backyard to teach them teamwork and the importance of physical activity, math is often left out of this advice. This is why the programs from Dropkick Math are crucial for your child’s success in education. 

The Ministry of Education recently released information on “Parent Engagement,” which said:

“Parent engagement matters. Study after study has shown us that student achievement improves when parents play an active role in their children’s education, and that good schools become even better schools when parents are involved…” 

As one of the leading math tutoring services in Ontario, our trained instructors at Dropkick Math provide support in learning key math skills by focusing on relationships and engaging the parent/guardian. Get started today by learning more about our programs.

Math During Pandemic

How has the pandemic affected your child’s progression in mathematics?

How has the pandemic affected your child’s progression in mathematics?

How has the pandemic affected your child's progression in mathematics_ newThe pandemic has affected many aspects of life, including your child’s learning. While it is too early to pinpoint exactly how much school closures and transitions into virtual learning have affected students’ education, the evidence so far shows that many are struggling with math. 

According to research on math development and anxiety, math learning seems to be taking a bigger hit during the pandemic over other subjects. A handful of studies pulled data from millions of students participating in computer-adaptive tests to estimate students’ learning growth during school closures and how much that growth rate is likely to slow during the next few years

Three studies predicted that students could learn half of up to a full year less math compared to what they would have learned in a typical year. None of the research has gone far enough to find any specific skills students may have lost, such as content or foundations in math like number sense or fractions. However, these studies are helping to show the overall impact that the pandemic has had on students and their math learning

Why Is The Learning Loss Worse In Math?

Experts believe math may be more sensitive to pandemic-related disruptions for a few reasons, including:

  • It is often more difficult for teachers to engage in effective math instructional practices via virtual learning. 
  • Stress-related to the pandemic may worsen existing math anxiety in some students.
  • Math is almost always formally learned at school as parents are often less well-equipped to help their children with their lessons. 
Math Anxiety

Math anxiety, also known as math phobia, is a condition that leaves many people feeling like they “just can’t do math.” This type of anxiety can start as early as five years old and can last into adulthood. Unfortunately, the stress of the pandemic has exacerbated the condition in many students, leaving them with a much worse situation before school closures and virtual learning. 

The greater number of students reporting math anxiety adds to the mounting evidence that the pandemic has had an impact on academics and the broader health and well-being of students. More than 35% of parents have reported that they are extremely concerned about their child’s mental health. 

Future Prospects Threatened

The fallout from the pandemic threatens this generation’s prospects and could ultimately constrict their opportunities far into adulthood. The effects of both a decrease in learning and mental health problems may undermine their chances of attending University and ultimately finding a fulfilling career that enables them to support a family. 

Unless steps are taken now to address students’ unfinished learning from the pandemic, irreparable damage may be done. Here at Dropkick Math, we understand the opportunity to help students catch up on unfinished learning from the pandemic and tackle long-standing learning gaps that may have been previously missed. 

Parent Involvement

While the school districts have a critical role in helping students get back on track and play catch up, parents and guardians also need to become active in their learning. As one of the leading math tutoring services in Ontario, our trained instructors at Dropkick Math provide support in learning key math skills by focusing on relationships and engaging the parent/guardian.

At Dropkick Math, we start by assessing the student with our free early indicators check-in. From there, we can help place your child in our program and get them started on building their math confidence and develop their skills for the future. 

Get started today by learning more about our programs.