How Much Help Is Too Much for My Struggling Student?

We all want our kids to become independent learners, right? So, is it okay for a parent to sit with a struggling older child (maybe even a high school student) through every single math lesson to help them through it?

The answer to that question is YES.

Won’t that hinder their ability to learn on their own? NO.

If you have a student who struggles with math, two things are very important (besides just learning the content). 1) That student needs to have his or her confidence built up and 2) they need to acquire effective learning strategies. These are the things that will dictate whether they are successful in math going forward.

You, as a parent walking alongside your student through the course will only enhance and help in those areas, especially if you are using a curriculum that is clearly taught and well-paced for the struggling student. When this is the case, you are free to be a cheerleader, an encourager, and a guide, which only strengthens your student and helps him or her feel successful. And success is the main goal at this point. Remember, we are talking about students who are struggling significantly and who have often been defeated and discouraged by math.

I realize that many of you simply do not have time to sit through a math lesson with your student. Keep in mind, if your student is really struggling and needs extra help, you primarily just need to sit through the teaching video to get the gist of what is being taught. You don’t necessarily need to sit through working the entire assignment with them. So, even if you can spend 10 or 15 minutes watching the video with your student, this could make a huge difference.

And don’t discount yourself because you “stink at math.” I guarantee, as an adult, you can absolutely watch a teaching video (particularly a Denison Algebra teaching video) and completely understand the lesson. The lessons are carefully paced and clearly taught for a struggling high school learner. This means you can absolutely do it with them.

The bottom line is that it is very important for your student to experience success and have positive experiences with algebra, even if that means you, as a parent, are walking with them through each lesson. You doing so does not undermine that success, nor does it delay learning. As they mature mathematically, your student will become increasingly confident and independent and need your participation less and less.

Happy Teaching!


P.S. If you’d like some help planning high school math for your student, check out our free guide here.


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