Teaching Math the Right Way Tip #4

Choose the Correct Speed


Whatever level you are facing, teach math at their level, and continue moving forward. Complete one lesson every day, never miss a day. If your child understands a concept, skip the lesson and move on. It's extremely helpful with math-reluctant kids to include math during the summer, so they maintain their understanding.  If possible, do a math section during the summer, unless you are traveling.  Most kids lose 3 months’ worth of progress over each summer, and then they need 3 months of review each fall to catch up again.  You can see that doing math in the summer can REALLY speed things up!

Don’t go backward, trying to achieve the impossible "perfection" in math. Consider your own checkbook for a moment.  Like you, I have mastery over math, and I can add, subtract, multiply and divide as well as any 6th grader.  But my checkbook? I don't always exhibit perfection in math, and I regularly make math mistakes in my checkbook!  So if you are waiting for perfection before moving on, it will be frustrating to everyone in the long run.

What is required is that your student is reasonably successful in math, and understands it reasonably well.  Four years of math is required.  For some, that means a daily struggle over four years that will end in Algebra 1 at the end of high school. Sure, it's not optimal, but it does happen.  For other kids, four years of math can leave mom or dad in the dust, and the child pushes forward into calculus and differential equations.


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