Maths often becomes more challenging when your teen starts high school, and this is often when kids start to lose confidence in their maths skills. Here are some tips to encourage your teen to stay positive about maths and keep on top of their maths learning.
Talk positively about maths
Even if you struggled or didn’t enjoy maths much in school, try to talk about maths in a positive way with your teen – and let them know you believe they can succeed in maths. This will encourage them to keep trying their best, rather than giving them an excuse to give up. You can also talk to them about the benefits of having skills in maths for a diverse range of careers – from computer games designer to environmental consultant, or from an architect to a fashion designer.
Practise, practise, practise!
If your teen is losing confidence or is starting to struggle with maths, encourage them to keep working at it and let them know that maths is something that we get better at with practice. Encourage your teen to take responsibility for their maths learning – get them to identify where their weaknesses are in maths, and make a plan to work on them. With hard work, regular practice and revision, and encouragement from you, your teen can improve their maths skills. As they see improvements in their own understanding, your teen will gain confidence in their maths abilities too!
Set a routine
If your teen is reluctant to do their maths homework, try encouraging them to set up a study routine. Help your teen find a time that works for them and set it aside to practise their maths. If they don’t have any maths homework one night, try to encourage them to practise another way – they might enjoy doing a Sudoku puzzle, or there are lots of free online maths games they could try.
Help your teen get organised
Encourage your teen to use a diary or planner to record the dates for school assignments, homework and tests. You can also try writing key dates on a calendar so you can encourage your teen to prepare for these assessments in advance and help provide them with a study environment free of distractions.
Show interest in what they are learning
Ask your teen what they are learning in maths class, and ask to look at their homework with them. Your teen will appreciate you taking an interest in their learning and will feel motivated to keep working at it. Asking them to explain a new concept to you will also help reinforce what they are learning in class.
Talk to their teacher
If you (or your teen) are worried about their maths learning, or they are struggling to complete their maths homework, contact their teacher. They will be able to provide you with some more guidance on ways that you can support your teen at home, provide practice materials your teen can use and they will be able to focus on supporting your teen more in the classroom.