Why Is My Child Struggling with Algebra?

Why Is My Child Struggling with Algebra?

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It's common for a child who was a strong math student to struggle when he or she starts algebra. Here, learn why and how you can help your struggling young student with his or her algebra homework.

 

The first thing to keep in mind is that your child is certainly not alone. Many children seem to be doing quite well in math until they hit algebra, which is essentially a culmination of all the math they have learned to that point.

More often than not, the underlying issue is that the student has not developed the proper mastery of fractions, decimals, and percents (the three ways to express a "part of a whole"). Not only should the student feel comfortable with all three notions separately, but just as importantly, he or she should be able to convert back and forth between the three forms.

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Learning important ideas behind the "names" of things can help a great deal, such as with "percent." Since "per" means "for each," and "cent" means "100," the word "percent" literally has a definition of "for each 100."

For example, to solve "6% of 400," we know we want 6 "for each 100," and since there are four hundreds, it follows that the answer should be "6 + 6 + 6 + 6," which equals 24. This idea can be greatly beneficial in many instances, and helps to conceptualize percent in a way that makes sense.

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