Is Mastering Math a Myth? 5 Ways to Help Your Homeschooler Become More Nimble With Numbers

School, socializing, and the act of growing up itself is often an obstacle for kids, and while homeschooling makes it easier in some ways, it may be more challenging for you, the non-teacher teacher, especially with the math mountains you must climb. Fortunately, for you, there are many tools in your educational arsenal to call upon.

1. Practice With a Purpose

Math shouldn't just be memorized, it must be utterly understood. Rather than practicing endless problems, ask your student to explain the process involved in each step, over and over, until you're satisfied that the concepts are completely fluent. While it's easy to obtain a product in math if you know the times tables, it's not so easy to explain the magic going on behind the scenes. How is it that seven, multiplied by five, becomes 35? The more details and nuances your homeschooler picks up on, the more their natural ability with math will flourish.

2. Turn the Tables on Teaching

At any age, being able to teach something is usually a good indication that you know what you're talking about. Thus, allowing your homeschool genius-in-the-making to take the reigns will not only increase their enjoyment and understanding but help to show you exactly where they're at with their work. You can prepare the lesson they'll teach to you or ask them to make something up relevant to the subject at hand. Standing up, speaking out loud, and displaying their numerical prowess should serve as a big boost to their ego, especially if they've been having difficulties with the material.

3. Constantly Refresh the Basics

Moving forward with any math topic may be met with resistance, making it a smart idea to take a few steps backwards, first. Triple-digit division looks monstrously difficult, when you've barely mastered double. Go back, even a grade or so, to ease the stress, increase your student's confidence, and prepare their mind for the next big step in the endless journey that is math. 

4. Use Real Objects for Word Problems

Abstract word problems can be challenging, often causing students to reject the accompanying thought process. Try using real objects, like money, candy, and even dolls, to act as the individuals involved in the word problems. For example, if three people are dividing 21 items between themselves, set up three dolls with a pile of 21 paper clips or Legos. Especially if you're teaching a younger child, bring their favorite stuffed animals into the equations, so their brains understand real concepts in real life, rather than just on paper.

5. Turn to a Terrific Tutor

Because you are the parent and the teacher, it's sometimes harder for you than it would be a public school teacher, especially when your child is experiencing mathematical difficulties. Hiring a tutor, either online, from your circle of friends in the neighborhood, or some other source can be a powerful way to boost your educational efforts while enjoying the perks of having a real-life math whiz in your child's presence. Look for someone who really knows their numbers so they can add to the "Wow!" factor of learning. Tackle the specific areas your child needs help with, but allow the relationship between the student and the tutor to grow, too.

From your own creative cranium to the talents of a tutor, there are many ways to raise your child's math aptitude, bringing them up to where they belong and beyond. Since you homeschool, you have the authority to go upwards, beyond a basic curriculum, to include all kinds of fun and helpful aids, so take advantage of all of them. Math, when mastered, is an enormous building block in the educational foundation you're building for your child, from which, they can do just about anything.

For more information about math tutoring, speak to companies like Math With Marsha.