Math Programs

Are Boys Better At Math Than Girls

When it comes to math, there has long been a stereotype that boys are “better” or more adept at the subject than girls. This idea can be traced back to traditional gender roles, where women and men are expected to possess certain skill sets – with mathematics seen as falling within male educational strengths. But is this assumption true? 

Studies show that while female students may struggle in some areas of mathematics, they tend to excel in others – providing an interesting counterpoint to the notion that boys simply have an edge over girls when it comes to numbers. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how performance between genders stacks up – and whether stereotypes about math still hold any weight today. We will also discuss how math intervention programs may be advantageous for boys or girls. 

Girls Are Underrepresented

According to the most recent data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, a trend of women outstripping men in college enrollment and degree attainment persists, with a single exception: mathematics. Women have gained ground in mathematics education and achieved success as mathematics professionals; however, mathematics is still largely a male-dominated field, both at the university level and professionally. 

Despite their progress in mathematics over the past several decades, women remain underrepresented in mathematics research and occupation positions compared to men, perhaps due to entrenched gender roles or unbalanced access to mathematics resources during childhood. It is essential that all genders are able to pursue mathematics with equal access and opportunity if we wish to achieve parity in mathematics fields.

Results In Different Countries

In 2012, international tests were given to fifteen-year-olds worldwide. They showed that boys achieved higher levels than girls in mathematics in thirty-eight countries. However, in the United States and Canada, the achievement of boys and girls was found to be equal. 

When the research team released further details, their report showed that when anxiety was factored into the analysis, the gap in achievement was only a difference in mathematics confidence levels. It was noted that girls became more anxious when taking individual math tests. This phenomenon is commonly known as math anxiety, and it makes a case for educators to take a closer look before passing decisions regarding test performance. 

Are Boys Better?

A recent groundbreaking study from the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, and Carnegie Mellon, also set out to find the truth about a gender gap in mathematics. While investigating the early biology of math and gender, researchers were able to conclude that learning math is similar in boys and girls. In the brain, math concepts engage the same neural networks of the brain during the critical years of cognitive development, regardless of gender. 

If boys were better at learning math than girls, their brains would show a biological origin for this strength. This study shows without a doubt that neural activity did not change from boys to girls. 

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess brain activity in 3 – 10-year-old children to compare the neural processes involved in learning math. As both girls and boys interacted with math videos, both drew on the same areas of the brain known for their association with math ability. There was no higher aptitude found in boys for learning math or for processing numbers compared to their female counterparts. 

Girls In STEM

Even though these studies show that girls and boys learn math equally, according to the National Science Foundation, there is still gender inequality in the STEM fields. Although jobs in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, and computer sciences have the smallest gender pay gaps and have some of the highest areas of job growth in the global economy, the lack of women in these fields could lead to future gender income inequality. 

When females are underrepresented in traditionally male-dominated careers like STEM, entrepreneurship, and politics, their perspective is lost from the conversation. Research has proven that having females in leadership roles yields innovative solutions, yet when females aren’t included, their ideas aren’t heard, and innovation suffers as a result. It’s necessary for females to have an equal seat at the table so that their unique contributions can shape future solutions. Without female voices, needs and desires are left unheard, hindering progress and taking away from potential creative solutions. This ultimately slows the pace of development, leaving females behind in terms of representation and opportunities.

Getting Girls Interested In Math

So, how do we get both girls and boys as equally excited about mathematics and STEM majors throughout their education?

Many people believe that it will take parents and teachers to address the math gender gap and debunk the myth that boys are better at learning math than girls. By taking action to help girls believe they can achieve in math, more will be willing and want to go into the math and science fields. 

When girls are reminded of boys’ dominance in learning math, they tend to perform lower on academic tests. This stereotype can act as a stressor to performance. This is where parents and teachers can step in and help with math anxiety that could be hindering girls from performing at their best during mathematics tests. 

Research shows that girls who have a growth vs. fixed mindset about learning math are likely to believe in their abilities more. So, working on a math mindset may help girls perform better on math tests. 

Now is the time to get girls into a better mindset so they can thrive in mathematics. If your child is struggling with math, you may find that a math intervention program can help. But, before you start searching for “math tutor near me,” learn more about Dropkick Math Academy. We are an alternative to math tutoring that could help your child overcome their math anxiety. 

Our programs are designed to help children who may be experiencing math anxiety and help boost their confidence through fun and engaging game-based learning. Learn more today and get your child on the road to learning!

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The Difference Between Help And Interference When It Comes To Homework

It can be tough to know when to step in and help with homework and when to just stay out of it. On the one hand, you want to ensure your kids are doing their best and getting the help they need. But on the other hand, you don’t want to do too much, or else they’ll never learn how to do things independently. So what’s the right balance? Here’s a look at some key differences between help and interference regarding homework.

For students, homework can be a dreaded part of the school day. It is often seen as a time-consuming and tedious task that requires hours of focus and concentration. For parents, homework can be a source of stress and frustration. They want to help their child succeed, but they may not know how to provide support best. Parents need to remember that there is a difference between help and interference when it comes to homework. Helping your child with homework shows that you are interested in their education and want to see them succeed. However, too much interference can be detrimental. Finding a balance between providing assistance and allowing your child to work independently is essential. 


As a teacher, I often see parents doing their child’s homework or turning homework time into painful hour-long sessions where they struggle to explain mathematics to their child. This would be considered interfering with their homework.  

While you may think you don’t interfere with your child’s studies, it is more common than you know. For example, your child comes home from school and sits down to do their homework. After only a few minutes, you hear “I don’t get it,” and you feel the urge to step in. You hate to see your child struggle, and you also don’t want to spend your entire evening working on it with them. 

Many parents play “teacher” in the evening, ensuring their child goes to school the next day with a paper full of correct answers. While this may seem like you are helping your child, you may be hindering their progress.. 

Solving Problems With Resources

It will benefit your child much more if they try and solve the problems using resources like a notebook, the internet or even by calling a peer and working it through with them. Believe it or not, many teachers would prefer if a child came to class with an empty homework sheet rather than a perfect paper done by a parent. When a child struggles, it is important that the teacher knows about it so they can offer additional help. 

If your child is in grades K-2 and comes to you with homework they have tried to work through but still don’t understand, try attaching a small note onto the homework for the teacher explaining what was causing the challenge. If the child is in grades 3 – 5, have them write a note to their teacher explaining their struggle. This can help a teacher see where they are running into problems, helping to ensure they don’t fall under the radar. 

Learning From Mistakes

One of the most important things that students need to learn in order to be successful is how to deal with challenges and learn from their mistakes. Homework, for example, can be an excellent opportunity for students to learn how to persevere and problem-solve. But it can also be frustrating, especially if a student doesn’t understand the material. That’s where parents come in. 

By stepping back and allowing your child to make mistakes, you’re helping them become more independent and resourceful. Encourage them to look at their mistakes and try to work through where they went wrong. By learning how to work through their mistakes you are giving them an essential skill they will need to succeed.

Create A Learning Environment

While some educators do not believe in giving students homework, others expect their students to spend a couple of hours every evening studying. If your child is expected to accomplish homework, you can help by making sure you don’t interfere. 

Creating an environment that is best for learning can also be helpful for students who struggle with homework. Remind your child to take short breaks and encourage them to move around. Remove all distractions, including electronics, and have a dedicated area where they can make their own. 

By creating a space for your child to do their homework and helping them get the resources they need to understand the task, you are setting them up for a more independent learning style. If your child asks for help, remember to help rather than interfere and don’t be afraid to send them back to school with unfinished work. As long as the teacher can see they made an effort to understand the material, they can give them the help needed to advance. 

If you are unsure of how to help your child with homework, talk to their teacher. They will be able to give you guidance on what type of support is appropriate.

Parental Relationships

At Dropkick Math, we believe relationships are the primary key to learning success. Our trained instructors will help build a parent’s mathematics capacity so they can adequately support their child’s journey in elementary math. Success is achieved by learning together! 

As part of our math help services, we bring parents/caregivers into the learning process to ensure helpful guidance. We understand that math has changed since they were in school, so we include them in the classes to help children with their studies. 

Dropkick Math is more than just an online math tutor. We have dedicated our math intervention program to help your child reach their potential in math. By providing support in learning the building blocks of mathematics and engaging through fun and exciting games, your child will begin to thrive. 

For more information on our programs and to learn if they are the right fit for your child, visit our website today!

Math Programs

How To Relate To Your Child When Helping With Their Math Studies

Math is one of the subjects that can be difficult for students to understand and master. For parents, it can be hard to know how to help their children with these challenges. However, there are some things you can do to make the process a little bit easier. In this post, we will discuss some tips on how to relate to your child when helping them with their math studies and how a math intervention program may be able to help. Keep reading for more information!

Has Math Changed?

It can be challenging to relate to your child when it comes to their math studies. After all, you may have been out of school for many years and may not remember all the concepts you learned. Or, the math concepts your child is learning may have changed drastically from when you were a student. 

The main thing to keep in mind is that math hasn’t changed. The way it is taught has. The technological world around us today is forcing students into new ways of thinking, which is being reflected in mathematics instruction. The problem is that you may not understand this new way of thinking. But that is ok. Dropkick Math can help with that. 

Learn Alongside Your Child

If your child comes to you for math help, but you feel lost when trying to help them, we are here for you. Dropkick Math is an online math tutor that helps parents understand the math their child is learning in school. We provide math education for parents who want to be able to help their children with their math homework but don’t understand how it is being taught. By learning alongside your child, we expose you to new learning strategies your child is experiencing in their classroom. This way, you can help your child with their math homework and also be able to understand what they are doing. Dropkick Math is a great resource for parents who want to be involved in their child’s education.

By taking the time to learn math alongside your child, you will be able to relate to them better than you could have ever expected. By learning and making mistakes you can learn from, your child will see you going through the same emotions they are dealing with and will want to engage in more learning together. 

Be Patient

Learning together is the best way to relate to your child if they struggle with math. However, there are steps that can be taken to help make the math homework process easier for you and your child. First, try to be patient. If you feel stressed about the situation, it can be frustrating for both of you. Instead, take a deep breath and remember that everyone learns at different speeds. If your child is having trouble understanding a concept, take a step back and try to explain it in another way. Sometimes it helps to use visual aids or manipulative objects to illustrate the concept. You can also ask your child’s teacher for extra help or guidance. The important thing is to keep working on it until your child grasps the concept. With patience and persistence, your child will eventually get it!

Relate Concepts To Real-World

Part of why your child may struggle with math concepts can seem abstract and impersonal. However, there are ways to help your child overcome this obstacle. One approach is to try to find ways to relate math concepts to real-world situations. 

Think about what your child knows already and make math relatable to it. By relating math to something familiar to them, they will be able to connect the concepts, leading to a deeper understanding of what they are learning. For example, if your child is having trouble with fractions, you can help them understand how these concepts are used in everyday life. You could explain how fractions are used when measuring ingredients for cooking or how they are used to divide up a pizza among friends. 

Ask For Help

If you are struggling to relate to your child with their schoolwork, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Teachers are always happy to meet with parents and offer guidance. Here at Dropkick Math, all our instructors are certified Ontario teachers and will work with you, the parent or caregiver to ensure you fully understand the mathematics your child is learning.

When a child struggles, parents will often turn to a mathematics tutor. However, tutors will only help with the problem at hand. At Dropkick Math, we are an alternative to tutoring and offer a fun and engaging way for children to learn while getting to the root of any misunderstanding of math they may have. 

We Want Students To Succeed!

Reliable, professional math help online is hard to find. But, here at Dropkick Math, we have a team of teachers who care about our students and want them to succeed. Learn more about our programs and how we involve the parent/caregiver. 

By taking the time to relate to your child, you can help them succeed in their math studies. Get started with Dropkick Math today!

Math Programs

Why Brain Breaks Are So Important For Children

When most people think of “brain breaks,” they automatically think of adults. However, brain breaks are just as important for children! Here’s why: when children spend too much time focusing on a task, their brains can start to feel overwhelmed. This can lead to problems with focus, attention, and motivation. That’s where brain breaks come in! A well-timed brain break can help children reset and refocus, leading to better work output. So next time your child is feeling frustrated or unmotivated, try giving them a brain break!

Brain Activity

Most kids need a break after concentrating on a task for a while. For example, they may become anxious or stressed while focusing on math concepts. That’s why brain breaks are so important. They allow the brain to reset and refocus by switching neural activity to different networks. While kids are learning, most of their energy goes into the parts of the brain that are used for attention and critical thinking. Brain breaks reset these areas help reduce stress and anxiety and improve learning when kids return to their tasks. 

Active or Passive

Brain breaks can be active or passive, depending on the child’s needs. Active brain breaks focus on physical movement and may involve jumping or dancing around. Passive brain breaks are more about mindfulness or sensory and may include taking deep breaths or listening to calm music. 

All types of brain breaks should last about 3 – 5 minutes and should be preplanned. This will give a child something to look forward to. If a child struggles with their learning and no end is in sight, they may become more anxious or stressed. However, they will feel more relaxed if they know they have a fun break coming up. 

Whether they are active or passive, brain breaks can be used at home during homework time or at school during class time. In both settings, brain breaks are an excellent way to help kids stay on task and avoid burnout. 

Brain breaks can also:

  • Sharpen short-term memory
  • Reduce anxiety and burnout
  • Help with self-regulation
  • Boost motivation to learn
  • Improve attention
  • Increase time on task
  • Increase academic achievement

Brain breaks are particularly important for children with sensory or behavioural needs, but all children can benefit from taking some time to destress.

Building A Schedule

Building a schedule can help you (the parent/caregiver) to remember to use them with your child, and it can also help them stay motivated during work time, knowing they have a break coming up. Once the brain break begins, a stopwatch or phone timer can help ensure the break lasts the right amount of time. If it is too short, your child may not get enough of a break. However, if it is too long, they may become distracted and reluctant to return to the task at hand. Your child should be able to see the timer so they can be fully prepared to return to work when it’s time.  

Finding The Right Brain Break For Your Child

Finding your child’s proper brain breaks may take trial and error. It is best to start by thinking about what your child responds to best, then using this to figure out which type of brain break they may need. For example, are breaks more effective when they keep learning or give their mind a rest? Are they more effective when they get up and move or when they take some time to relax? This could vary daily, but by learning your child’s energy levels and preferred brain breaks, you can determine what works best for them. 

By having various brain break ideas prepared ahead of time, you can easily pull whichever one may suit your child’s need at that moment in time. Whether your child is in elementary, middle, or high school, many activities will work for them. 

The following are just a few ideas to get you started with your list of child-approved brain breaks!

Physical Brain Breaks

Dancing – There is no better way to get moving than by dancing. And what kid doesn’t like to dance!? Encourage your child to get up and move to their favourite song, or even try having a dance-off with your child. 

Cardio – Many fun physical activities can get the heart pumping. Try exercises like jogging in place, jumping jacks, or skipping. There are various kid-friendly workout videos online that can help get them moving. 

Brain tricks – Action-based brain tricks can entertain you and your child! Try having them rub their stomach and pat their head, or snap their fingers while blinking one eye. These fun brain breaks are a great way to challenge your child and help them develop coordination skills. 

Simon Says – This classic game is a great way to get your child up and to move. It will help to improve their listening skills and get them laughing and having fun. 

Relaxing Brain Breaks

Yoga – For parents who regularly practice yoga, this will be an easy one to help guide. Getting the body moving while practicing mindfulness can be a huge stress reliever for your child. If you are unsure how to teach yoga to a child, many resources can be found online. 

Colouring – Adult colouring books have become all the rage for those of us who need some stress relief. But they work just as well with children during a brain break. Allow your child to colour in their favourite colouring book as a relaxing way to get their creative juices flowing. If you don’t have a colouring book, you can also give your child a blank piece of paper to draw their own picture. 

Calming videos – YouTube Kids has a variety of short clips that can help a child destress. Choose one based on their interests or find videos you know they already enjoy watching. 

Sensory Brain Breaks

Get some fresh air – There is no better way to brain break than getting outside into the fresh air. Stepping outside, taking some deep breaths, and getting the sunshine in their eyes can make a bigger difference than you think in your child. It can help to give children a change of scenery and help to revitalize the senses. 

Playdough – A favourite among children of any age, playdough provides a creative outlet. Let them build something new or squish it around as a sensory tool. 

Scavenger hunt – This brain break can be a lot of fun as they find and explore throughout the house. Create a list of everyday objects found around the home and have them hunt for the items. 

Skill Building Brain Breaks

Puzzles – Having your child work on a jigsaw puzzle each break can challenge them just enough so their brain is still learning, but differently than their original task. 

Activity pages – Children of all ages love activity pages, including word searches, number games, and crossword puzzles. By allowing your child to work on a different activity during their brain break, they will stay on track with learning while switching tasks and reducing overload. 

Learn to juggle – If you are looking for a fun skill-building brain break for your child, how about teaching them to juggle. This entertaining skill can help boost their coordination and concentration skills. 

Brain breaks help children reset their minds and refocus on the task. When a child becomes too focused on a task for a long time, it can prevent them from processing what they have learned. 

When children return to their work after a brain break, they’ll be better able to process and retain information. So next time your child struggles to focus, consider giving them a quick brain break. It could make all the difference in their ability to finish the task at hand. Their brains will thank you for it.

Game-Based Learning

We believe in brain breaks at Dropkick Math and suggest our students take them when needed. However, our programs are based on game-based learning that can help your child reduce anxiety and get them excited to practice math. So, they may need fewer brain breaks as they work through our modules. In fact, many of our students have so much fun playing the games that they don’t even realize how much learning they are doing!

We differ from a traditional online math tutor by focusing on the root cause of math misunderstanding. Learn about our math intervention programs and if they are the right option for your child.  

Math Programs

Conceptual Understanding In Mathematics: How It Is Vital In Education

Math is integral to our lives, but what if we don’t understand it? Many students feel overwhelmed and frustrated when it comes to math, especially concepts such as fractions and decimals. We must help our children gain a solid conceptual understanding of mathematics to set them up for success in school and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about why conceptual understanding is so important and find tips on how you can help your child excel in math.

The “Why” Of Mathematics

Conceptual understanding is the notion that a student is not just taught how to do math but also the “why” behind it. This means that students are not just memorizing equations but actually understanding the concepts behind them. For example, a student who understands conceptual math can solve a problem in multiple ways. In contrast, a student who has only memorized an equation will only be able to solve it one way. 

Conceptual understanding is essential for students pursuing math beyond the classroom. Without a strong foundation of conceptual understanding, students will quickly become lost when encountering new material. However, conceptual understanding is not always easy to achieve. It requires a patient and diligent teacher who is willing to take the time to help each student fully grasp the concepts. Additionally, conceptual understanding cannot be achieved overnight–it takes time and practice for students to truly internalize the concepts. But for those who are willing to put in the effort, conceptual understanding can open up a whole new world of mathematical possibilities.

A Bigger Framework

Conceptual understanding means seeing the bigger framework that underlies all math topics. It also entails thinking fluidly to apply math skills to a wide variety of problems. There are many ways to help children understand conceptual understanding. Teachers like myself often refer to the “Conceptual Understanding Pentagon” as outlined by Jon Van de Walle to help our students. This involves pictures, written symbols, oral language, real-world situations, and manipulative models. 


Pictures can help those children who are visual learners as they can see the equation at hand. Written symbols also help these same visual learners as they can get a view of the numbers and problem itself (example, 6 x 8 = 48)

Oral language is great for students who are auditory learners. Speaking about the equation and working it through in their mind is another excellent way to help students with conceptual understanding. If they can’t rely on seeing math visually, they can talk through it and find another way to solve it. 

Real-world situations are a fantastic way to help students work through math problems. For example, a student may understand how to perform multiplication on paper but may not necessarily understand how it works in a real-world situation. For example, ask your child, “If six children were holding a bunch of balloons and there were eight balloons in each bunch, how many are there in total?”

Manipulative models work well for tactile students. These students need to feel and touch objects to help them understand math equations. By allowing students to work with models they can manipulate, they may gain a better conceptual understanding of mathematics. 

Reduce Math Anxiety

Developing conceptual understanding can lessen math anxiety and help children to become more confident in their math skills. When they realize that they can work math equations in various ways, they become more competent in their computational skills and boost their confidence leading to their ability to solve problems of increasing complexity. Students who have a strong conceptual understanding learn how to think and reason and may even start to enjoy math!

At Dropkick Math, we understand the need for students to develop conceptual understanding. Our programs allow students to learn foundational math skills and fill in any misunderstandings in mathematics while enabling them to discover new ways of learning. Through proven strategies and manipulatives combined with an accelerated learning approach, we help students master math operations while boosting their confidence. 

If you are worried about your child’s conceptual understanding of mathematics, don’t search for a “math tutor near me.” While this may seem like the logical step to take, math tutors often don’t address conceptual understanding. They focus on helping students through their current school work and ensure they memorize one way of accomplishing the equations. 

In our math intervention programs, our certified Ontario teachers will work with your child to ensure they understand math concepts and don’t just memorize one way of accomplishing them. We will work through the conceptual understanding pentagon and allow students to learn math in several different ways. 

Visit our website today to learn more about our programs and how they can help your child succeed in mathematics in school and throughout life. 

Pillars of Math

What Are The STEM Majors?

What Are The STEM Majors?

What Are The STEM Majors

When your child looks to their future, what do they see? If they see themselves in a career that requires math and science skills, they will most likely focus on a STEM major in higher education. A STEM major is a field of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These programs are designed to give students the skills they need to succeed in high-demand fields. In this blog post, we will discuss math concepts that are important for students who want to pursue a STEM major in university. We will also talk about how our math intervention program can help prepare your child for success!

The Buzz Around STEM

Recently in elementary education, there has been a buzz around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is well known that our country needs to produce students skilled in the STEM fields to fill jobs and continue our country’s tradition of innovation. However, understanding that we need more children to get excited about stem majors and actually growing the number who go into that field are very different matters.

The STEM majors list includes:

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Earth sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Information technology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

There are numerous branches of study within these individual disciplines leading to various career paths. 

Skills Built From An Early Age

Evidence is mounting to show that STEM skills built from early learning can help students to develop the habits and knowledge that will last them a lifetime of understanding and proficiency. Children naturally learn by exploring, asking questions, and discussing their findings, so it is important to encourage STEM learning early in school.

Early childhood education teachers are currently trying innovative new models to include more STEM education in their classrooms. In elementary school, creative teachers have managed to find STEM-related activities so that children can develop their math, science and technology skills.

In early education, children have the gift for exploration and experimentation already in place. When those natural impulses are matched with math concepts, students can gain a solid foundation to help them move forward throughout school. At Dropkick Math, we offer innovative, online, engaging activities and hands-on offline games to guide students’ exploration while building a solid foundation in mathematical skills.

Math Foundation

It is never too early to get your child interested in a chosen career path. But if that career choice includes math and your child struggles with the subject, our program may be able to help. If you have been wondering, “Is there a math tutor near me?” Dropkick Math can offer a solution. Our programs differ from a traditional math tutor in many ways, including providing your child with the foundation of mathematics in a fun and engaging way. 

The Transfer Of Knowledge

Evidence suggests that basic addition and subtraction math concepts can be used to build upon later in education to accomplish more complicated skills. The “transfer of learning” can often help a child understand a different principle. Transfer of learning has been demonstrated repeatedly in early education studies. For example, early understanding of a mathematical skill can set the stage to incorporate that knowledge later as math processes expand into more complex questions. This is one reason why it is important for children to understand the basic principles of math at an early age. Dropkick Math can help students build on these skills at an early age to help with their math comprehension and overall academic performance throughout their learning years.

The Four Pillars Of Math

At Dropkick Math, we offer fun and engaging programs that involve the parent/caregiver while learning the four pillars of math. The four pillars of math include algebraic reasoning, proportional reasoning, operational sense, and number sense. The approach we use provides alternative studies that allow for conceptual understanding. We recognize common areas of difficulty in mathematics that students may have, and provide instructional practices for addressing these areas of difficulty.

Your child will need to excel in mathematics to continue to a STEM major. But we know that a weak pillar can significantly impact future math success. The gap in learning caused by the pandemic has also affected some children in math. So, we have built our programs so that your child gains a conceptual understanding of mathematics and can get caught up with any missed learning caused by COVID. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how they can help your child stay on track with their education for the future.