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mariah12green
mariah12green asks:
Q:

my twelve year old daughter hates math...why does she get confused when she sees numbers?

In Topics: Teen issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Oct 23, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for contacting Education.com!

Because your daughter dislikes doing math at this time, it could be that she is just hurrying while doing her work and making mistakes. She may have fallen behind and needs a tutor to help her get caught up. In this case her confusion would be caused by her own behavior and it can be corrected over time.

On the other hand, she could have a learning disability. By the time she is 12 years old, however, you should have already known about it. But it is not unusual for bright children to have learning disabilities such as dyslexia and be able to mask it when they are younger. The older they get, the more difficult the work becomes, and the more difficult is for them to hide it.

Please talk with your daughter's teachers and get their input. If you want her to be tested for a learning disability, the school may be able to provide this. If they do not test or don't feel it is necessary, there should be other individuals or facilities who test in your community.

If you would like to talk about this or any other parenting issue, please call or e-mail or Hotline. Our counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Take care and best wishes to you and your daughter!

Sincerely,
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
hotline@boystown.org
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Additional Answers (4)

Daniel_Guillot
Daniel_Guil... , Parent writes:
Kids have a love or hate relationship with math.  Some love it and some absolutely hate it.  If they hate it you probably won't be able to change that feeling.  However, there may be a specific reason that they hate math witch may tell you what you need to work on. Some children have trouble understanding the calculations, some have trouble understanding the application of math in life and believe it is useless, some get bored with doing math problems and can subconciously decide to stop learning, some believe math is for "Geeks" and give in to peer pressure, and some, like the article states, may have a learning disability that needs to be addressed.  Learning what may be causing the problem can give you a good starting point.  I routinely test my daughters understanding by asking for her help counting objects or add or subtract numbers while we are working on something.  Trying asking her math questions that relate to something that she is interested in.  I've made some progress by teaching money to my daughter.  We count her coins by grouping them into piles, 4 quarters, 5 nickels, etc. and then add up the money by grouping the piles into dollars such as 4 piles of nickels and counting the dollars.  This gives them an understanding of money and math in a practical way.  It involves counting, grouping and adding and is a great way to test their understanding.  When doing homework or studying, I find that math is most easily learned by practice since it is often about memorization.  Make sure she does all the homework and more practice if needed.  Repetition is the key.  The more you do the better you learn it and the easier it can be.  Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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pigtoria
pigtoria writes:
Hi Mariah12green,

Unlike other academic subjects where previous knowledge is not as important â for example in history you donât need to know the exploration of Lewis and Clark to understand the revolutionary war or in biology, you donât need to know how the digestive system works to understand DNA.  In these subjects, concepts learned are not intertwined.  However, in math, previous knowledge of concepts is extremely important.  A concept must be well understood before one can move onto the next concept. Learning math is like climbing a ladder.  You need to climb each step on the ladder to get to the top.  Each step on the ladder is like each concept learned in math.  When a concept is not learned well â a step is missing â it will become very difficult (if not impossible) to move on.

Children usually dislike a subject when itâs their weaknesses.  You can turn your daughterâs weakness into her strength by finding out where her âmissing stepâ on the ladder is.  You can do this by having her do worksheets starting with the basics addition and subtraction and move on to each concept until pre-algebra (what she should be learning at twelve).  Once you find that âmissing stepâ and fix it, your daughter will love math.  

Below are a link to the math worksheets and a link to pre-algebra study guide.

Hope this helps!

Vicki

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Marebear
Marebear , Student writes:
Hi!
  I can relate to your daughter. I hate math too. My parents decided to figure out what motivates me the most. In the end, it turned out that by making math a huge deal, and being strict about math, I was able to do a lot better. Try that with your daughter. Extra help is a must as well. Your daughter will come a long way with extra help. I hope this helps!
> 60 days ago

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jmamable
jmamable , Caregiver writes:
She could also have a disorder called dyscalculia...like dyslexia, but with numbers. It can occur in anyone, but is common amongst students and people who have an above-average grasp of subjects like English and Art. Dyscalculia is a struggle for anyone who has it, but can be especially challenging for students who have to take math classes in order to graduate! There's a lot of info online about it, but if you're concerned, you should take your daughter to a specialist for an official diagnosis before you take action.

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