Why your child is struggling in Algebra 1.
“Just figure it out.”There is a misconception among teachers that algebra 1 is easy, so it doesn’t require too much explanation. We heard students complain that when they ask questions in class, their teachers tell them to read the textbook or “figure it out” (yes, shockingly, this actually happens). Algebra 1 is relatively simple in comparison to other math levels, but it’s not simple to the students who are taking it for the first time! And it’s definitely not the type of math to disregard. It provides the fundamental blocks for ALL OTHER types of math your child will be learning all the way through high school and college. As such, it has to be taken very seriously. We need to make sure your child is fluent and confident in Algebra 1. If so, they will have much easier and fun time at the higher math levels. If your child doesn’t establish solid math fundamentals, they will follow the path of many students in the Bay Area – struggle through every math class and hate it, until (and if) they finally understand the Algebra 1 fundamentals. We have had students whom we helped solidify several critical Algebra 1 concepts (linear equations, fractions and more) and it skyrocketed their math results from 30-40% to 90-100% in Algebra 2 and, ultimately, 95% in Calculus.
Discouragement and bad math experience that lasts for years.Until Algebra 1, your child has almost exclusively seen numerical, tangible math. Algebra 1 is the first time your child experiences so-called “real math”, working with variables, setting up equations and solving for the unknowns. This can be an enriching, fun, exciting experience or a one full of anxiety, randomness and confusion.
Use application of fundamentals to learn, ditch dry math.One of the ways to make math tangible and relate the misterious x’s and y’s to the real world is through application problems. Add the layer of real life examples, and make the world of math intriguing for your child.
When we teach algebra, we include animals, candies, money and more.
This relates math to areas your child knows and likes.