jejune
jejune asks:
Q:

How can I help my son improve his math grades without a tutor?

My child has just been accepted in the "special needs" program through Jackson Madison Co. schools. He will be receiving help in math... where someone is supposed to sit there and help him when he needs it. They say due to ADD he is having a hard time, they also say that he has a disability that affects his memory. I know it takes time to see results, but when he keeps bringing home F's I just want to cry. He is really smart and loving. He is also a little over emotional. His heart has been broken all school year and he is just starting to feel worse about himself.
I work with him at home at least two hours a night and it is not getting any better. He is in third grade so the transition is hard enough for him to deal with. I am sick of meetings with no results and I am sick of seeing his self esteem drop. Can someone please give me some ideas here? I cannot afford a tutor.
In Topics: Helping my child with math
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Mar 6, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Sounds like this is a very difficult time for you and your son. You are clearly a very committed mother, and I applaud your efforts to support your son at home and develop solutions with the school for the classroom.

As you have most likely heard, ADHD involves difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Some children have more problems with attention than impulsivity while some children have problems in all three areas. Researchers have documented differences in the brains of children with ADHD in comparison to so-called "normal" children. Thus, there is a physiological explanation for the difficulties your son is experiencing.

Teachers, psychologists, and medical doctors have done a lot of work to develop interventions that help children with ADHD, but the majority of the non-pharmacological (no medication) treatments do take quite some time to show benefit. For instance, for children who suffer from problems with impulsivity and hyperactivity, there are a number of parenting strategies that have been shown to help children control their behavior over time. For more on this, take a look at the book, "Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents" by Russell Barkley.

Similarly, there are strategies for helping an ADHD child with homework (e.g., helping them organize their notebook, desk at school, written note card reminders on their desk) that eventually become more second-nature as ADHD children begin to learn new strategies for managing their school work. I suggest that you return to your son's helper at school and ask that he or she focus on helping your son get organized and develop more thoughtful approaches to doing his work. Helping him with individual questions is fine, but he needs to develop good study habits that will take him through high school.

Also, you may want to schedule some time to talk to the special education administrator about including counseling support for your son at school. Given that his self-esteem is being affected, he would likely benefit from some time with a counselor to learn more about his symptoms and talk about how his symptoms are affecting him.

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Education.com Team

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Additional Answers (13)

rackygrl
rackygrl writes:
I know no one likes to hear drugs help, but....  I had/have the same issues with my 9 year old daughter and had many a crying session and hours of trying to help with failure.  Two things helped: 1.)  One on one tutoring.  Once those smart kids get it they never loose it and eventually it does raise the self esteem.  

2.)  Also, I did a "trial" of ridlin.  My husband was VERY against it.  We did it finally and didn't tell the teacher.  She called me telling me my daughter was paying attention better in school for the first time.  So for some it will work.  The drug decision was last year and her grades and school life have improved.  When I skip a day, the teacher knows.  Some notes they told me:  The kids shouldn't feel any different.  Only observers that know them well will see they will argue less, get less frustrated, focus better and pay more attention.

All the other advice about organization are soooo important too.  The only thing I'm still frustrated at is that I can't teach her myself and have to rely on tutors or other peer one-on-one.  I think it's a parent/kid thing.

Finally, in our school there is no "special" program so we as parents have to take the lead.  We have to dog the teacher to help her with organizing, be kinder and not critical and have LOTS of parent/teacher conversations.
> 60 days ago

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rackygrl
rackygrl writes:
I just noticed you said you can't afford tutors, but kids will listen to other kids.  So if you can find a willing middleschool kid or smart kid in the class that'll help you might get some success.  Talk to the parents or teachers at your school or look around the neighborhood.  I have a girl across the street that is willing.
> 60 days ago

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Erin6297
Erin6297 writes:
Every child has their own mantel aptitude and capabilities. You need to find a good teacher for him who nurture his skills according to his abilities. Thanks
> 60 days ago

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nitronation143
nitronation... writes:
this is very interesting question to answer well math is very interesting suject to deal
> 60 days ago

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john18967
john18967 writes:
This is a nice way of showing me the bigger picture with regards to my child's math in school. The first section gives you an overview of what your child will learn in each math subject and practical ways to reinforce the skills at home. I had never thought about teaching my child about math while playing games and doing chores around the house, but these ideas are practical and I can see their usefullness. The second section really helped me remember all the math skills I had forgotten when I was in school. I'd would like to help my son at home and this book really breaks down all the essential math concepts for me in order to help him. This book doesn't have math lessons but it does give you the tools you need to help your child at home.
Having previously worked for nearly ten years as a full-time tutor, I can honestly say that I wish I had this book handy to give out to the parents of some of my students. Ackerman gets it right when he notes that most older kids who have trouble with Math are in fact missing basic skills they should have picked up in younger grades. He's equally right when he describes a lack of confidence among parents who want to help their kids but don't know where or how to start. This book is a road map for meeting both of these challenges.
> 60 days ago

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kirasmart
kirasmart writes:
Have you ever tried online tutoring service?  When my kids faced some difficult issues on Math, I used to hire an online tutor from answershark service ( https://answershark.com/tutors/ ). I think that it's better to ask somebody to instruct your kids than just wait until they grasp the material by themselves.
> 60 days ago

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Gabriel99
Gabriel99 writes:
You can  improve math grades without a Tutor to use Online  math learning websites which are so many in the internet. You just go and select best website to learn math for your son.  In this way you can improve math grades of his  son. Actually, I try to know about https://sites.google.com/site/cheapessayforme/ and my that aim lead me that website but i like to give you suggestion and other members also put good sources to learn math.
> 60 days ago

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john18967
john18967 writes:
Wow, what a resource! I have taught children with attention deficit disorder for years and I wish I had this resource to give to parents. All of Mr. Ackerman's ideas are easy to implement and make total sense. I really like the behaviour contracts at the end of the book as well. I would suggest this book only for parents who have the time and are willing to help their child. I plan on using the ideas in this book in my classroom and I will surely pass on some of the tips to the parents of my students. Oh, and the half off coupon code in the book is an added bonus.
> 60 days ago

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Larrygo456
Larrygo456 writes:
You can try many online websites to make him learn about maths starting from the basic. There are also many math games available which helps to improve child math.
> 60 days ago

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Larrygo456
Larrygo456 writes:
You can try many online videos for maths chapters available to make thim understand it well. You can also try maths games as they help to learn math basics in a interesting way.
> 60 days ago

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adharsinghs99
adharsinghs99 writes:
You can try making him play math games, to make learning easier while playing and with some entertainment.
> 60 days ago

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nguyenducphu9906
nguyenducph... writes:
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kyelaaputri
kyelaaputri writes:
I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks!Keep rocking.
39 days ago

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