If you are the parent of a school-aged child, keeping up with their learning is a big part of your responsibility. This is particularly important as it relates to subjects like math.
About 10% of people have dyscalculia which presents a significant challenge with math. This is a condition that makes it difficult to conceptually understand mathematics and numeracy. It is similar to how dyslexics struggle with processing words and sentences as they read.
Here are some points and strategies that you can use to assist your child if they are struggling with math.
Get a Professional Assessment
First, you need to know that your child actually struggles with dyscalculia. This isn’t the case just because they have difficulty with math. It’s a specific condition that presents as a complete misunderstanding of math concepts and the way that numbers work and relate.
Use Visual Learning Aids
Visual aids are powerful for children with dyscalculia. It helps them process math concepts on a deeper level. In addition, it provides a multi-sensory modality to understanding math concepts.
Many people are visual learners and comprehend information better when presented with a visual representation of the material. Remember that math has real-life uses that can also be portrayed using visual aids.
Bring these into the classroom or study sessions so that your child can take numbers from a concrete form to apply them to the abstract and vice versa. It will solidify their understanding of these concepts so that they can build on it and develop a strong foundation.
Understand Their Area of Weakness
To tackle dyscalculia head-on, it is important to know where their areas of difficulty are. People who have a math learning disability typically have an issue with processing numbers, remembering concepts, following steps when doing math, or dedicating enough attention and focus to complete math problems. If the student also has dyslexia (a reading disability), word problems are nearly impossible for them to approach.
Different students will have different weaknesses that contribute to their learning disabilities. When you’re cognizant of the area that your child struggles with, it is easier to provide them with the resources that they need to overcome it.
Find Schools and Specialists That Can Help
It is important that you give your child every opportunity to keep up with their classmates as they matriculate through school. Sometimes this means providing them with supplementary help that is suited to their learning style.
Seeking out schools and tutoring centers that specialize in dyslexia and dyscalculia can help your child succeed in school. Specialists at these locations have specific training and strategies to help your child overcome their math difficulties including ways to tackle those dreaded word problems.
Invest in your child’s education early so that they can overcome their challenges without it holding them back.
Practice Math Daily
Repetition is often the best approach for students who have learning disabilities. Your child may have to put in more effort with more consistency to keep up and thrive in math.
If you’re trying to figure out how to help a child with dyscalculia, make sure that you are setting aside time each day to practice the concepts they are learning to help with retention.
Teach your child that their education doesn’t just start and stop during the school year. They need to put in the time with the subject matter after hours even during the summer, and on an ongoing basis so that their skills stay sharp as they advance through the grades and beyond.
If need be, hire a tutor that can assist them after school. Make sure that you’re also checking their homework so that they are doing it correctly to enforce rememebering the concepts and step to complete.
Teach the Real-World Applications
Focus on making math real for your student. Many students struggle with math simply because they don’t understand the way that it works in the real world.
Everything from basic math to algebra to calculus has real-world applications. When you show them the “why” behind math, you will likely find that your child won’t struggle with understanding it nearly as much.
Drill the Steps and Instructions
A lot of math is all about understanding and remembering the steps involved with solving a problem. You will know that your child understands the steps when they can show their work and explain the processes to you in detail.
A Guide to Overcoming Math Dyslexia
The tips above are useful and worthwhile if you’re trying to help a child overcome dyscalculia. Do everything you can to supplement their learning so they have the resources and support they need.
Read Academy of Sacramento can help students with dyscalculia. To learn more about our program, contact us today.