Math is an important skill. You don’t have to be a mathematician to need it. It’s important when you’re buying something at the store or even baking something in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, it can also be a difficult subject to learn—especially as you progress in school and the curriculum gets more complex.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]There are ways you can improve your math abilities. If it’s not your favourite subject, don’t despair.[/pullquote]
1. Try not to use a calculator. Rely on your own abilities to solve simple addition, subtraction and multiplication problems. Whether you’re figuring out how much to tip at a restaurant or calculating how much change to get back when you buy ice cream, try to do the math in your head.
This will give your brain the exercise it needs to figure out math problems more easily and on a routine basis. Try not to turn to a calculator unless you’re really stuck.
2. Study smarter. Turn off all distractions. That includes your phone, music and the TV. Take some time to concentrate. And do it at a time that’s best for you—not when you’re tired, angry or sick. Make sure to take good notes in class.
When you’re studying, take the time to review your notes. Do a little bit at a time and take breaks. Eventually you’ll get all your work done well and on schedule.
3. Speak to your parents. If you’re frustrated with math or your grades are slipping, speak to your parents. Maybe they can speak to your teacher about some potential interventions that can help you succeed.
Maybe you need more time to do your homework or complete tests. Maybe there’s a math specialist at your school that has time to help. Or maybe making your parents aware will ensure they take time to help you with your work Either way, speaking openly with your parents is a great first step to succeeding in math.
4. Hire a tutor. Once you’ve spoken to your parents, they might suggest this option themselves. This is a great way to get help with homework during the school year, and to keep up with your math abilities during the summer when your brain tends to want to shut off. Rather than fall behind, stay on top of your math work.
There are so many tutoring options that can help you succeed. Do you want a tutor that comes to your house? Do you want to work in a group setting at a tutoring centre? Think about your goals, needs, budget and preferences and do some research. Find an option that suits your needs. Then stick with your tutor no matter the time of year.
5. Go online. There are lots of math apps that help make math fun. These online tools are interactive and easy to use. You can even pick your age, level and the type of math you’d like to practice.
Whether you like word problems, fractions or calculus, there’s an app for that. Go online and search for the highest-rated apps. Speak to your teacher for his or her recommendations. There are lots of options out there. Once you’ve found a program you like, spend even a few minutes a day playing math games online. Even your friends will want to play.
6. Get a job. Whether you work at a retail store, a bakery or restaurant, any of these jobs will have you doing math in your head in no time. These jobs require you to make quick calculations on the fly. Even if you begin slowly and feel rusty, it will quickly start to feel second nature.
Practice makes perfect and that’s the same for math. Why not take on a part-time job or summer job that puts you in a position to practice math while earning money, too.
7. Don’t give up. You might be frustrated at times. It might be hard. You might even want to drop math altogether and never look at a number again. Unfortunately, this isn’t practical or realistic as you will need math every day of your life.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]With focus, persistence and determination, you will get better and math will start to come more easily. If you quit, you’ll never find out how much easier it can become.[/pullquote]
Crestwood Echo October 20th, 2017