In some households,

*math*is a four-letter word. It is the subject in which students most often get behind and need the summer months to catch up. However, with a strategic plan and an understanding of the many options available, a smoother path to success is possible.

## *Getting ready for high school math*

*Getting ready for high school math*

*fell by the wayside*in grade school and high school at our house, but math wasn’t one of them. Studying the math lesson for the day was on par with brushing teeth: Is your math done? Are your teeth brushed? This approach is essential because it is an uphill battle trying to catch up in math.

We continued through the same curriculum from kindergarten through sixth, adding different approaches to learning the concepts, like manipulatives, games (one of the favorite and most effective methods at our house), flashcards (not a fan), and physical activities, like measuring ingredients in the kitchen and measuring wood in the workroom, and hopping from number to number as they counted or added and subtracted—a favorite for lower elementary students. A tool that we found very effective to introduce the concepts of algebra was Borenson Hands-On Equations.

*8 to 10 Problem*

*8 to 10 Problem*

*Did you just say 8 – 10 problems a day? But our curriculum has 45 problems!*That doesn’t mean that your student needs to do them all (perhaps it’s no wonder she hates math?). Choose 8 – 10 problems that cover the different portions of the lesson. Then she reworks the ones she got wrong. If she still doesn’t understand the concepts, choose 8 – 10 different problems for the next day. That way she

*sits on*that lesson another day to make sure she understands the concepts before moving on to the next lesson.

Stepping into high school math should be like turning the next page in a book, so develop a plan for getting there:

- Show that you
**value math**by making it a priority each day, working with your student, investing time and/or money into additional materials to teach concepts that your current curriculum isn’t addressing in a way that your student understands. **Talk positively**about math. Don’t make it sound like a mountain that can’t be climbed or bring up images of your own childhood math-nightmare.**Celebrate success**. Moving forward in math should be celebrated: take a day off from math to play math strategy games and give special recognition at dinner (with ice cream).