## Struggling with Math?

As a parent, you may feel that that math isn’t your thing, or that you really don’t know much about it and even less confident about how to answer their math questions.

Here’s a couple of tips if you also struggle with math:

- Avoid saying things like
*“Here comes a tricky part…”*You’ll be amazed at how many times your child will do things easily that you thought might be hard.

- If you do not have happy memories about a particular math area, avoid saying

*“That’s ok, I was never very good at math either”.*You are tempting your child to follow your lead. You wouldn’t say,*“That ok to no learn to read… I was never good at it either.”*

Let your student discover things for themselves, rather than describing how it is to be done in advance. In science, no scientist in their right mind would do an experiment they already know the answer to! Math is the same way. Let your child find different ways of doing things, different from what you were expecting. Discuss (without pointing out right or wrong) the many ways things can be done.

When your child makes mistakes, use this as an opportunity to explore what happened and see if something got confused somewhere, or needs to be reinforced. If your child tries several times to grasp something and it still isn’t happening, ** STOP**.

*Your child is not failing.*They are giving you a message that either (a) they are not ready or (b) the approach needs to change or (c) some background information is missing.

It’s best for your child to seek out their own readiness level naturally and on their own. Most children have different physical and mental timetables for development, and pushing a child with hopes of speeding things up or catching up will not only frustrate and discourage your child, but it also sends the message that they are not good enough at the level they currently are at.

**…and MOST IMPPORTANTLY…**

Most important of all, our learning should be enjoyable and fun. Learning and “math work” should be indistinguishable from play time. I sincerely hope that your child will share many happy hours with mathematics that are as rewarding and memorable as their experiences on the playground with their best friends.

**How a Child Learns (Four Levels of Learning)**

This math course provides a structure and a methodology for understanding numbers and developing a number sense, using those skills and applying them to the real world. In this course, there are demonstrations, explanations, examples, skill practice, activities, games, and real-life applications in science and engineering.

This approach to learning mathematics allows students to progress through the four levels of learning easily. Here they are:

- Rote memorization (being able to repeat something back, like multiplication tables, which is learned but not understood)
- Understanding (comprehending or grasping the nature or meaning of something, as through teacher demonstrations and explanations)
- Application (the act of putting something to use that has been learned and understood, as using math skills to build a house)
- Correlation (associating what has been learned, understood and applied with previous or subsequent learning; new connections made that were never there before.)

(If you’d like more information on the levels of learning, please click here.)

As a parent, you should not be concerned about repeating or preempting what your child is learning in our math classes, as many kids benefit from repetition and reinforcement in different contexts before they fully grasp a concept. Most of these concepts your child can practice using everyday things in life.

**Children’s learning is rarely predictable and tidy.**

Every child will have particular opportunities or needs that will suggest going through things at different speeds or in a particular order. For the most part, your child will be able to do this math course on their own, but there may be times when they’ll need a little help. You know your child best, and by taking a little extra time to work individually with your child up front, this will really set them up for success long-term because you’re helping them when they need it most.

Most of the time, your child will be working on more than one skill simultaneously. It is easier for students to have more than one area to work with at a time, as they can work on one area while letting the more difficult idea have time to sink in. Remind your student that it’s ok if things don’t seem to be presented in a controlled or logical way.

It’s best for your child to seek out their own readiness level naturally and on their own. Most children have different physical and mental timetables for development, and pushing a child with hopes of speeding things up or catching up will not only frustrate and discourage your child, but it also sends the message that they are not good enough at the level they currently are at.

We already have more than enough stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and discouraged children in the world. Please be willing to switch to a different step and drop an activity entirely if your child does not seem ready or interested. You may be surprised at how perfectly suited they are within a week or month for that very same activity or skill.

**If your student does not like math, usually it’s because they had an experience with math being hard, unpleasant, boring, and useless. **

Our math curriculum focuses on making math a fun, natural part of their everyday life by showing the students that mathematics is a part of things that happen all around us, every day.

**Making Math Practical and Useful in Everyday Life**

Math is in the kitchen when you count and measure things for baking cookies. It’s in the road trip that you take; the gas you use, the miles you travel, the time it takes to get there. It’s having enough money to pay for the things you want and need, and making sure you have enough until your next paycheck.

Math is the driving force behind business decisions; how much to charge customers, how much to spend on staff and marketing, how much inventory you can keep and how long you can expect it to stay on the shelves.

Students will be learning through problem solving throughout this course. When your child figures out how something works, new connections are being make in ways that aren’t possible teach just by *watching* something. By learning through *active *problem solving, students are more engaged in the learning process. This breaks your child out of the passively watching to taking an *active* role in their own education. Problem solving is a critical skill for life, even outside of mathematics. There are problems everywhere you look, and being able to tackle them is a *learned* skill we teach our kids.

**Resist the temptation to have your child memorize something that they are struggling with. It is not ***true* learning when you simply memorize a rule or process.

*true*learning when you simply memorize a rule or process.

Make the extra effort to understand *why *the ideas work, and learn how to apply those ideas. The material is more interesting and easier to remember and use in the future because it becomes integrated with their experience of the world.

If your child doesn’t see how to go about solving a problem, use this as an opportunity to work on those problem-solving skills. Ask them if there are any ways to turn that problem into something they’ve seen before, something they already have experience with.

Encourage your child to wrestle with complex and difficult problems, and celebrate their partial answers and ideas, even if they are wrong or don’t quite solve the problem. We’re going for enthusiasm and effort more than accuracy, especially if they have not had a positive, happy experience with mathematics.

Most students have already had some math classes before coming to this course. Typical skills covered are: various types of numbers (whole, integer, mixed, negative, fraction, improper, decimal, percent), how to convert between these types of numbers, and how to add, subtract, multiply and divide any combination of them.

Most math courses over-focus on calculation skills. This makes math dry, boring and full of procedures. It feels isolated and useless with endless problems that all look the same. Students lose all sense of numbers, and have no idea how to have fun playing with math. And one of the primary purposes of math, using math to ask questions and figure out answers, is completely lost.

Calculation skills are important, but they are not the whole deal. It’s more like saying if you know how to spell, then you can write literature. There’s so much more that goes into writing a book, or in our case, learning mathematics. However, it’s not always straightforward to teach, so most math teachers focus on what they know and what is easily testable on an exam: how to calculate.

We will spend time mastering the mechanics of calculation skills, and also learn how to apply these to the real world. We will have a lot of fun discovering how exciting math can be when you really know how to use it!

*"My kid likes math and typically "just gets it". They wanted to try this program as they love supercharged science. We went in thinking it would be a review before we went in to higher math. We were right it is a great review from a different perspective, but also goes deeper in to the topics than we previously had. Best part it teaches in usable ways, like how to Run a Fundraiser, and measure a planet! My kid loves the live classes & I love that there is a recorded option. When we need a bit more explanation having a live tutor available is amazing for this home school parent."*

*"I think it's all great. My son is beginner/intermediate level. I'm already thinking this may be a two year program. The advanced work offered is AMAZING. I want to do it! He just can't do it all in a week. I know he isn't supposed to! So, I think another run through next year will really concrete these skills."*

*"**Thank you for all you and your team do to keep us in the loop and keep your website user friendly!!! **So far, so good. My 5th grader typically hates math and has always fought hard to avoid it. Now, he’s a self-starter when it comes to this course and he’s getting more proficient every day! The beginner level is just right for him and being able to pace himself is key. Thank you!"*

"Your passion for learning is contagious and the kids are having the best time. I saw a spark ignite in my son in your science classes several years ago (it's a fire now :)) and I'm seeing it happen again this time for both of my kids in this math class. What an absolute gift! Thank you!!"

"I have to tell you I was totally NERDING OUT on my walk with my Husband tonight. I kept multiplying double digit numbers by 11 in my head and then told him and explained how I got the answers. He's hated math since he had a horrible teacher in 5th grade. I pulled my calculator out to prove the answers were right."

*"This has been an amazing week. Usually math goes better when we do it in the morning, but with these classes my daughter laughed and worked and stretched and worked some more! I'm really hoping you'll teach high school level Algebra and Geometry in the future! I love Algebra and hate Geometry. I'm convinced you'd help me love the latter."*

"WOW! Today's class on Planning a Road Trip was great! Kamden was very engaged with everything through the planet sizes project. The girls both know fractions from book teaching, but were still mesmerized when you were "going on a road trip." I love all these practical applications you add to class. It is amazing!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You can always teach something new and in a different way than what normal textbooks teach. And now, both of them are determined to solve the airplane challenge and are working so hard on it. It amazes me how much you inspire them to do things. I can't thank you enough! I am so glad and thankful you took the route to becoming a teacher. You are a blessing to our family."

"It's a ton of work but he likes it so you're doing something right"

*"We are loving the math challenges each week. We may not always figure out the correct answer but it is awesome to watch them discuss math and logic problems."*

*"Still a struggle, but working better at doing exercises on paper."*

*"Confidence is #1, skills, plenty of A-HA moments, and she's developing a love for math! Brings tears to my eyes every times she asks to work on her math!"*

*"We really struggled before. He actually looks forward to class and showing more confidence in his answers."*

*"My kid is feeling frustration- even though you say not to do everything - he wants to do everything and frustrated and disappointment that he cant- between science and math that is all we have time for everyday"*

*"My child has always did well with math but sometimes she gets bored with the same ole book work. I find her enjoying her math more. She looks forward to Mondays and Thursdays class."*

*"Intermediate child was bummed that he didn’t quite understand it well enough to do it, but he tried!"*

*"Advanced child loved learning negative fractions and fractions with exponents, and was very PROUD to understand and had fun “racing” Aurora to the answers. Measuring microscopic creatures was also a BIG HIT for her."*

*"My student has never learned decimals, but when she saw it on the video(?) she kind of figured out how that works. that was a "wow" moment."*

*"My students are doing a lot more math compared to last year because they are wanting to- they are enjoying the assignments."*

*"The kids' attitude toward math. And that is huge, because attitude affects so many other aspects of their learning. They are engaged. They are starting to share how they see and use math in so many different ways throughout the day. It's starting to connect that it's not just a class... it's a useful and necessary tool of life everywhere, every day. This has been so fun!"*

*"We did fractions last year but I knew that my son needed more because he did not master the material. He really likes the projects but also needs the practice problems and some days feels overwhelmed by the number of suggested pages that need to be completed to ""keep up""*

*"My daughter is starting to love learning again. She thinks Aurora is wonderful and enjoys the math and science courses."*

*"I have noticed that he is getting better at simplifying fractions but needs the reminder that it can happen at the beginning middle and end of a problem. I would like him to attend to using correct ways to describe fractions (numerator, denominator, simplify rather than top, bottom, cancel/cross out) because at math progresses these terms are explained less often because it is assumed you know them."*

*"My kids are becoming more independent and responsible for getting online to get to class, it has bled into their other subjects as well."*

"My kids are becoming more independent and responsible for getting online to get to class, it has bled into their other subjects as well.

Confidence in understanding the material.

More excitement and self-motivation."

*" My 7 yr old son is definitely getting some A-Ha moments. My older children are seeing how to apply the concepts they already know to real-world problems. I feel this part is preparing them the most for real-life."*

*"**He is definitely growing in his confidence.*

*Confidence...definitely! Is now using it in real life.*

*The girls are enjoying math more.**"*

*" Greater interest especially the bigger projects. He enjoys watching Aurora.He wants his school work load to only be math! He is getting more confident."*

*" My daughter hates math. She's only doing it because I am making her do math. My husband and I are trying to have our daughter know practical things that will help her in the real world. That's why I chose your class this year. My daughter is 15 and at a 3rd grade level in math."*

*" SO MUCH! I mentioned in an email before that my daughter LOVED the Ice Cream lesson. ALSO, recently she took a math assessment that she began as a frozen/terrified girl, but ended triumphantly & confident....mostly because of the experience from the few classes from Aurora. 🙂"*

*" My boys love you and totally consider you their science and maths teacher! You are part of the family!! Even my very youthful 77 year old mum wants to learn maths from you!! We are in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Thank you so much for all your wonderful programs and to your husband and support team also!!"*

*" Definitely a better opinion of math. He isn't groaning as much, and for once, he looks forward to the lessons."*

*"**She is learning well - she is actually loving the class and math was her least favorite subject*

*I’ve never heard “I really like math”, until this year!*

*He seems to be enjoying the math and loves the projects.**"*

*" Confidence, for sure! My oldest was so pleased with himself when he tried one of the worksheets Aurora said was “advanced” and he was able to work through it without any trouble! Now that my kids have had some success and fun with what they are learning, it’s not such a struggle and I don’t hear “I hate math” anymore!"*

*"**She's proud of herself and her ability with fractions now.*

*Deeper understanding of math functions. Confidence and enthusiasm to attend live classes, skills improving, and capability to take on problems with less fuss as well as saying, "Ohhhhh...... that makes sense!"**"*

*"**My daughter enjoys the fun worksheets.*

*Confidence! He's more willing to try and the persevere on a problem that he would have written off as too difficult. As far as specific skills, it seems like fractions have finally "clicked" especially simplifying and dividing.*

*No fighting about doing math**"*