Algebra and Math Problems: Preparing Children for Middle School Anxiety
Is your child among the many students in Salt Lake City and other areas who are starting middle school? If so, then you'll have to face the bane of every middle to high school student: algebra. Unless your son or daughter is mathematically-inclined or a whiz at numbers, chances are they are dreading algebra. You, their parents, whose responsibility is to help out as much as you can during homework time, may dread it, too.
You should simplify things. For all we know, the Pythagorean theorem is the least of their problems. They might be having a rough time with an unpleasant classmate, a fallout with a friend, or anxieties about their future college courses. That, plus the normal hormonal turbulence of puberty, makes focusing on their grades challenging for your child. They might question why they aren't as "smart" as they were in grade school or like their schoolmates. Take the time to be reassuring. Tell them that you are aware that they are doing their best. Then do the necessary research from their books, the Internet, and helpful tutors so that you can make the subject less menacing for them.
Take Advantage of Trends
Of course, technology poses a lot of problems. You might have a hard time yourself in dealing with identifying spam from news, forgotten passwords, or fake news. But there are countless safe, virus-free, fun apps to download on your phone, desktop, or tablet that would encourage your children to practice their math skills. Not only do these apps make math attractive and up-to-date, but they also make the subject enjoyable, appealing, and trendy for your children.
Understand When They Fail
It is easy to fly into a rage when your children disappoint you. After all, that was how some people were raised, with tough love that seemed to work at that time. But things have changed over time. What happens in schools should stay there. For today's children, their classmates follow them through social media accounts on their phones or tablets. They might become aware of how you reacted to your child's failure.
With this, understand your child first. Why did they fail? Were they distracted? Which parts did they find hard to follow? Then proactively look for a solution together. You can develop a closer relationship with them through patient practice and support. When they open up to you, you will also discover what might make math and other problems easier for you.
Hard lessons are learned in middle and high school. Children have to face a toxic, ever-changing, highly-connected world. Peer pressure is practically omniscient, and what makes this worse is that the presence of the Internet follows them home.
On top of friendships, bullying, mental health issues, and grades, our youth have to face the looming responsibility of caring for an ailing planet. The outside world affects them more than we can fathom. It is not easily seen, but if we can help them sort out problems as simple as x + y, then we can ease the load of the future from their shoulders. It is our way of teaching them and passing on the knowledge we have.