Help! My Kid Has a Tutor But Still Has Problems With Math!

Why kids struggle with math - even when they have a tutor.

I hear this all the time.  When a student has difficulty with math, it may not just be the math.  There are many learning skills that are taught within the realm of mathematics.  Learning math is based on learning skills that include: memorization, logic, and reading comprehension. Logic is a basic necessity to help students solve problems in their future. It helps us to come to basic understandings and conclusions. Reading comprehension is essential to solving word problems.  It is important that students be able to read words and understand their intention. Memorization, logic, and comprehension skills, while taught with mathematical concepts are not exclusive to math; however, the curriculum uses math tools to teach and build these skills.  

Teaching what to memorize and how to memorize helps students develop that skill for their future.  Memorization is needed to develop other skills used in everyday life.  Sure, most things can be researched on the Internet.  However, you would not want your heart surgeon to have to reference the Internet while performing open-heart surgery on you.  Imagine the hourly cost of the mechanic that needs to reference the Internet to replace the oil in your car.  The only way to build a strong memory is to practice memorizing.  Students practice memorizing numbers, their functions, and formulas to build better memorization tools.  Many strategies can be used to help develop memory.

Mathematics teaches children how to think logically.  One example is if two even or two odd numbers are added, the result is an even one.   Logic is also used in reasoning and deduction.  When a route is detoured, drivers use logic to navigate around that road to maintain the desired direction. Good basketball and football players use logic on the fly.

Reading comprehension is essential to everyone.  Mortgage agreements and other legal documents should be read and understood before one commits to them. The use of reading comprehension in mathematical word problems helps the student learn how to apply the math concepts so, as adults, we can apply them to our everyday lives.

When a child struggles with mathematics, it may not be the calculations that are difficult, but the memorization, logic and comprehension skills that accompany the math concepts that are causing the problem. 

It is important to get help from a provider who will teach the child how to develop all of the skills that are included in learning math.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bayboat July 14, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Not "memorization"...Understanding and PRACTICE! Memorization suggests rote learning with no "deeper understanding" of the function. You could be taught, by rote memorization to build a car engine. But, if you werent taught HOW the spark plug interacts with the air intake or HOW the pistons are dependant on the oil pump, youd have no REAL understanding of WHY it operates. First understand WHAT is happening in the problem, and then how/why you have to do the steps to solve...then PRACTICE!
Big Bill July 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Schools stopped requiring memorization of multiplication tables years ago. And kids stopped understanding the concepts that followed.
Typical Obama Voter July 15, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Everything about "learning" is memorization. History math, reading, spelling, religion, science. How can you do anything if you do not memorize the procedures to follow. How can you drive a car if you dont remember to turn the key or put it in drive? As for schools giving students homework projects that can only be completed with the help of the parents, that is wrong. What about single parents who work two or three jobs? they have no time to help all the children with each homework asignment. I refused to do my childs projects. I help with explaing them but I refused to do them. I also let the schools teachers know why. Home schoolers are beter educated than most public school children and there is a good reason why.
facti vation January 23, 2013 at 07:46 AM
You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. http://www.factivation.com/
Michael Carlin January 03, 2014 at 01:52 AM
The blog made some excellent points but seemed to imply that all tutors are created equal. If you break a hammer or a screwdriver, you find another and use it. No so with tutors. A student might learn from one tutor, but not learn from another. I'm a mathematics professor, who spends many, many hours tutoring high school students, and I continually see students in my college classes that do not understand the basics that the college expects them to understand before registering for the class that they are currently taking. Failure follows for many of them since learning new material would be analagous to building the second story of a house whose first story is collapsing. If you hire a tutor who does not find the weaknesses in your student's background or does not instill confidence in the student then don't assume every tutor will perform (or not perform) the same functions. CHANGE tutors.


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