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Preparing Your Child For High School

Here’s a mind-bender for you: What’s a challenge every parent must face, but they can’t do it for their child? Answer: Preparing them for high school math. Now, don’t let that scare you. Bust out your old calculator, dust off those algebra books, and let’s dive right into this complex equation together. 

“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” – Paul Halmos

That’s an indisputable fact, folks. Like riding a bike or learning to swim, practice makes perfect. But what else can you, as a parent, do to ensure your child is ready to tackle the giant that is high school math? Well, buckle up because we’re about to take a joyride through the world of numbers, formulas, and equations to help boost your child’s confidence in math!

Why Preparing Your Child For High School Math Is Important

Let’s talk about the significance of prepping your kids for the rollercoaster ride of high school math. It’s not just about balancing equations and memorizing theorems. It’s about building a foundation for critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and helping them understand the world around them.

The importance of math extends beyond the classroom. It influences their decisions, from managing finances to baking a cake using the right proportions. Hence, getting them ready for high school math plays a pivotal role in their overall development. 

Setting The Stage For Future Success 

Ensuring your child is well-equipped for high school math helps set the stage for future academic and career success. Many fields, like engineering, data analysis, finance, and even graphic design require strong mathematical skills. By mastering high school math, they’re stepping onto a path that leads to a variety of opportunities. 

Boosting Confidence 

A certain confidence comes with overcoming the challenges of high school math. This can foster a sense of self-belief and resilience in your child, serving them well in other areas of life. 

At Dropkick Math Academy, we understand that boosting your child’s confidence in math can be difficult. Many children get stuck in a negative mindset where they can’t see outside of it. However, our math tutoring programs work towards building a positive mindset and help children boost their confidence. 

Encouraging Logical Thinking 

Math encourages logical thinking and reasoning. It’s not just about getting the right answer but understanding the process of how to get there. Therefore, this ability to think logically and critically for children entering high school is invaluable in an ever-evolving technological world. 

Building a Solid Foundation in Middle School Math

Think of middle school math as the backstage crew of a theatre production. It’s not always in the limelight, but the high school math show just can’t go on without it. The importance of a firm middle school math foundation is often underestimated, but it’s the secret sauce for success in high school math. 

Start with the basics. Your child must have a solid grasp of arithmetic, fractions, and basic algebra. These skills are the building blocks for constructing more complex theories and problems. 

Remember, math is a language. Just as a child learns to read by understanding individual letters and words, a child learns math by understanding numbers and operations. Foster an environment where math is spoken, and your child will soon be fluent.

Invest time in understanding, not just memorizing. Math is not about cramming numbers and formulas. It’s about understanding concepts and how they’re interconnected.

Encourage learning from mistakes. Math can be challenging, and it’s essential to emphasize that it’s okay to make mistakes. Errors are learning opportunities, not reasons for discouragement. 

Finally, practice, practice, practice. Like any other skill, math becomes easier and more intuitive with practice. Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to solve problems and apply concepts. 

Math, in its essence, is a puzzle waiting to be solved, a problem craving a solution. Let’s help our kids see it that way!

How to Evaluate Your Child’s Math Skills

As a parent, assessing your child’s math skills might seem like a daunting task. However, it’s not as challenging as it sounds. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand where your child stands and how to move forward. 

  1. Start with Basic Concepts 

Start by revisiting basic concepts like addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction. If your child shows comfort and fluency in these, you can be assured that they have a solid foundation. 

  1. Problem-Solving Skills 

Next, evaluate your child’s problem-solving abilities. This includes their ability to understand word problems, logical thinking skills, and determination to solve complex problems. 

  1. Grasp of Advanced Topics 

Observe their understanding of more advanced topics such as fractions, decimals, and algebra. A strong understanding of these topics is crucial for high school math. 

  1. Use Online Resources 

Use online assessment tools and resources. A large variety of websites and apps offer math problems and solutions to help evaluate your child’s skills. Try our FREE assessment to see where your child is in their education. 

  1. Consult Teachers and Tutors 

Engage with your child’s teachers or tutors. Their input can provide valuable insights into areas your child excels in, and where they might need additional help. 

In conclusion, evaluating your child’s math skills takes time and patience. With these steps, you’ll better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you better prepare them for high school math. Remember, every child learns at their own pace, so being supportive and encouraging is important.

How to Encourage Your Child to Love Math

Math is often perceived as a complex and intimidating subject. But hold on. It doesn’t have to be! Let’s make your child’s transition to high school math as smooth as possible. 

Change the Narrative Around Math: 

First things first, let’s change the way we talk about math. Instead of saying it’s difficult or boring, emphasize its practicality and importance in daily life. Show them that math is part of everything, from shopping to cooking to planning a vacation. 

Make Math Fun: 

Make math interesting by incorporating fun activities. Use games, puzzles, apps, and even cooking to teach concepts. The key is to make learning math a fun and engaging process. 

Stay Positive: 

Celebrate small victories and encourage your child when they’re struggling. A positive attitude can drastically change their perspective on math. 

Remember, the goal is not to create a math genius overnight but to nudge your child toward a better understanding and love for the subject. 

Nurture a Growth Mindset: 

Instill in your child the belief that effort leads to improvement. Help them understand that they’re not ‘bad at math,’ they just need more practice. This mindset can make the challenges of high school math less daunting. 

Provide Resources: 

Ensure your child has access to resources to help them succeed. This could include textbooks, online tutorials, and study guides. You could also consider hiring a tutor if necessary. Dropkick Math Academy offers math tutoring services for all levels for students in grades 4 – 9. 

Dealing with Math Anxiety in Your Child

Let’s face it, math can be intimidating, even for adults. If your child is showing signs of math anxiety, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are some tried and true methods to help your child tackle this issue head-on. 

Normalize the Struggle 

Math is hard; we’ve all been there. It’s crucial to help your child understand that struggling with math is part of the learning process. Use examples from your own experience or famous mathematicians who faced challenges. 

Keep it Fun 

Who said math has to be boring? Make math fun by incorporating it into daily activities. Whether it’s calculating discounts while shopping or measuring ingredients for a recipe, real-world applications make math more engaging. 

Positive Reinforcement 

Nothing boosts confidence more than a little praise. Be sure to acknowledge your child’s efforts and improvements, no matter how small. This will not only motivate them but also build their self-esteem. 

Provide Extra Support 

If your child continues to struggle with math, consider seeking additional help. Hiring a tutor, using online resources, or enrolling them in after-school math programs can make a huge difference. 

Remember, it’s not about being the best at math. It’s about building confidence and a positive attitude towards learning. With a mix of encouragement, the right resources, and a positive mindset, your child will be well-prepared to tackle high school math. And who knows, they might just fall in love with it!

If your child is showing signs of struggling in mathematics, we have math tutoring services to help get them ready for high school. Check out our programs and get started with our FREE Assessment today!

Back to School

Ontario Students Excited To Go Back To School Without COVID Restrictions

It is hard to believe that it’s already been over two years since the pandemic hit. For parents with school-aged children, the last couple of years has been a roller coaster ride of remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. With the recent announcement from the Ontario government that all students will be returning to in-person education full-time in September, without COVID restrictions, parents and students alike feel a sense of relief.

While the first few weeks of school are always stressful, in this day and age, back to school can make the calmest parent break a sweat. After all, this school year was the first to start without COVID-19 restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.

Many students had become used to the routine of masks in the classroom and learning over Zoom. However, as most classrooms slowly get back to normal, children are thrilled to see their smiling friend’s faces in person. Many were looking forward to being able to participate in extracurricular activities again. In contrast, others are just excited to be able to talk to people in person again and not just through a screen. 

The Toll Of The Pandemic

With the province finally starting to open back up and restrictions beginning to ease, students are looking forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy. But what toll did the pandemic take on our children

It is easy to put the past behind us and think our children are resilient and will catch up easily, but unfortunately, research shows that this isn’t the case. In fact, studies are showing that the pandemic has had a devastating impact on learning. 

Not only have our children had to contend with online learning, but towards the end of last year, they have faced schools with severe staff shortages and high absenteeism rates. All of these products of the pandemic have caused students and educators to struggle with mental health challenges, misbehaviour, and lost learning time. 

What Does The Research Show?

Canada may still be working through their numbers, but we can see that math and reading test scores across the first two years of the pandemic showed a sizable drop in the United States. Achievement showed even more of a decline between fall 2020 and 2021 than between fall 2019 and 2020, indicating that disruptions to learning have negatively impacted children well past the initial school closures. 

Here in Ontario, initial findings have shown that impacts of the pandemic are concentrated in math. Reading achievement in the fall of 2020 was consistent with the prior year, but average math achievement was 5 to 10 percentile points lower than the previous fall. It was also noted that, on average, students made gains during the early phase of the pandemic; however, math gains were smaller than pre-pandemic trends. 

These numbers are alarming, but it in no way indicates that our children represent a lost generation or that we should give up hope. Since most of us have never lived through a pandemic before, there is so much we don’t know about students’ resiliency and what a timeline for recovery will look like. However, one thing we do know for sure is that our children need help.

Ontario’s Learning Action Recovery Plan

The Ontario government has taken steps to help students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic by releasing their Learning Action Recovery Plan. This plan outlines the importance of help for students in literacy, math, and mental health. It invests heavily in tutoring support and includes summer learning, a focus on reading, math and other foundational skills, as well as targeted initiatives intended to address unique barriers that some students may face. This will help bridge students’ learning gaps, support academic success, and focus on overall mental health and wellness. 

As part of this initiative from the Ontario government, we are able to offer our math programs at a subsidized rate. Over the past year, Dropkick Math has partnered with various school boards across Ontario to help give students access to the education they need for future success. 

A Different Solution To Hiring A Tutor

At Dropkick Math, we offer a different solution to hiring a tutor. We are a math intervention program that helps children focus on foundational math concepts (number sense, operational sense, algebraic reasoning, and proportional reasoning). By getting to the root cause of math misunderstandings, children will be able to thrive in mathematics by applying newly discovered techniques. 

We may not know exactly what impact the pandemic has had on our children’s future, but it is easy to see that some extra help during this time can make a significant difference. If you have been searching for a “math tutor near me,” look no further. We offer engaging programs taught by certified Ontario teachers who make learning fun.

Putting The Pandemic Behind Us

It’s clear that students are ready and eager to get back into the swing of things. Here’s hoping that the province continues on its current trajectory and that we can soon put this pandemic behind us once and for all. 

Learn more about our programs and how we can help your child put their pandemic education worries behind them.