Why do most students need help with their math homework?

Math is often an area of difficulty for students, regardless of their grade. Mathematics is a principle subject in school and even though it is part of the required core curriculum for all ages it goes almost entirely unnoticed most of the time when students struggle. Math lays the foundation for being able to think critically in life, and yet so many students struggle with it and need help with their math homework. But if their parents before them struggled too, helping with homework doesn’t come easily. Why is this so challenging for students?

Students often fail to excel in math for a handful of reasons, all of which can be swept under two factors. The first is environmental and the second is personal.

  1. Environmental Factors
  2. Environmental factors might include the materials. If a student masters a mathematical concept taught to them only as the “fun” name of “the Barbie rule”, then they won’t be able to recognize the same concept the following year when the teacher uses the actual name. Students might also be taught math in a way that relies on memorization isolated from any actual meaning. This will make it difficult for students to retain the concept later.

  3. Personal Factors
  4. Personal factors include memory ability. Students might not have the memory required for rote memorization in their math class and will therefore miss out on key concepts that other students memorized with ease. Students might have a shorter attention span which causes them to stop listening or focusing midway through a lesson. Students might also believe that they lack the skills to advance in math and that any previous math scores received were only a matter of luck and not personal skill. Some students are also confused by the language of math. Many math lessons include vocabulary that is never explained such as “denominator”, “power” , “factor” , “area” , or “volume”. If these words are not explained initially, children will might memorize the terms but won’t know what it means, rendering it useless.

    That being said it can be incredibly challenging and time consuming for students to recognize at what point their environmental or personal factors inhibited their learning. It can be equally time consuming to go back and re-learn the concepts that were lost. Thankfully it is possible especially with professional math help. Help with math homework can expose which fundamental concepts were not properly learned and help to re-teach them.

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