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.
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.
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.
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!