Teaching Kids How To Problem Solve in Math

As a math tutor, I often hear parents complain that their kids don't know how to problem-solve. They'll say, "I've tried everything- online math tutors, hiring a math tutor near me, even having my child's teacher help them after school.

Teaching Kids How To Problem Solve in Math

But nothing seems to work." As a math tutor myself, I understand the frustration. After all, being able to problem solve is an essential skill, not just in math but in life.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your child develop this important skill. Make sure they are using math terms, and concepts regularly. This means not only doing math homework but also incorporating math into everyday activities. For example, you can have them help you measure ingredients when you're baking or have them calculate the tip when you're out to eat. An example you could use is, “When a store advertises 20% off, what is the actual price they will pay?” Encourage your child to think creatively when approaching math problems. Rather than seeing math as a set of rules to be followed, encourage them to see it as a puzzle to be solved. Provide opportunities for open-ended exploration. This could involve giving them a deck of math cards and letting them create their own games or providing them with blocks and asking them to build something specific. By taking these steps, you can help your child develop the vital skill of problem solving.

Many adults can attest to the fact that they didn't enjoy math class when they were younger. A lot of times, this was because they didn't understand how to problem solve. As a result, they gave up easily and didn't find the beauty in numbers. However, if we teach kids how to problem solve in math, they might be more likely to appreciate the subject later on in life. A good place to start is by encouraging them to ask questions.

They should ask what information do I know? 

What information is missing? 

What is the question  asking me? 

What are key words or numbers in the problem I need to pay attention to?

 If they can't figure out a certain equation, instead of getting frustrated, have them take a step back and ask themselves what information they're missing. Once they identify the missing piece, it'll be much easier for them to solve the problem. Additionally, it's important to encourage kids to persevere when they're struggling with a math problem. Oftentimes, the answer is just around the corner if they keep working at it. If we instill these problem-solving skills in kids from an early age, we might just see a resurgence in adults who enjoy math.

I am often asked by parents how they can help their kids become better problem solvers. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few general tips that can be useful. It is important to encourage kids to believe that they can solve any math problem. This may seem like common sense, but many kids give up before even trying because they think that math is too hard. It is helpful to provide kids with plenty of opportunities to practice problem solving. This can be done at home by working on math puzzles together or by finding an online or in-home math tutor who can give your child personalized attention. It is useful to model problem solving for kids. When they see you tackling math problems with confidence, they will be more likely to believe that they can do it too. By following these tips, you can help your child become a math problem solving pro in no time!


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