Six Signs Your Child Needs a Math Tutor

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

Math is a challenging subject for many students. Because it is cumulative in nature—meaning, concepts build on one another—students can quickly fall behind when they encounter a difficult unit in class. When your child doesn’t grasp basic foundational concepts, it is hard to understand more advanced ones.  

Is it Time for a Math Tutor? 

If your child has experienced math difficulties this school year (and further back) and you hear them complain frequently about math, it might be time for a math tutor. An experienced tutor can give your child math help that improves their skills while building their confidence. Math tutoring is worthwhile for many students. Here are six signs that your child would benefit from math tutoring: 

  1. Low and/or slipping grades in math – This is the most obvious sign that your child needs math help. It could mean your child is missing skills that allow them to complete homework correctly and perform well on tests and quizzes. Low grades might also mean that your child’s effort level is weaker than it should be (due to avoidance stemming from lack of understanding).
  2. Trouble with math facts – Yes, it is important for your child to conceptually understand math facts, but memorizing basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) for numbers 1-10 supports your elementary school student in becoming fluent in math later on. So, if your child cannot tell you quickly what 5+7 is without counting on their fingers or drawing it out, more advanced math homework will be slow and difficult, if not impossible. 
  3. Lack of understanding about practical application – Does your child seem to have a hard time applying the math they learn in the classroom to real-world situations? Without a grasp of math in real-world contexts, your child will have a hard time understanding the “why” behind math. Math tutoring can help them develop that context and recognize the importance of math. 
  4. Stress increases during math homework time – Take notice if your child tenses up when it comes time to do math homework. Does your child get so agitated with math that finishing assignments takes an exorbitant amount of effort? Is your child avoiding doing math homework altogether?
  5. Constantly behind peers – A child who does not master building block skills throughout the year will struggle to advance through each lesson and unit (which is why it’s so important to intervene early to get your child math help). In middle school algebra, for example, understanding concepts like properties of numbers, variables and expressions is essential to move into lessons on commutative property and distributive property. Concepts get more complex. Your child’s teachers have a specific list of milestones to meet and criteria they use to place students in classes each year. It will be clear along the way if your child is not meeting them. 
  6. Low grades in other subjects that require math skills – Math struggles often show up in other subjects, especially for high school students taking honors and Advanced Placement classes. Classes like biology are less math-based, but chemistry and physics are definitely math-intensive. Because algebra 1 is typically a prerequisite for chemistry and students must be concurrently enrolled in geometry or algebra 2, any math trouble will impact your student’s abilities in chemistry classes too.  

Math Tutors for K-12 

No matter what grade your student is in, Huntington Learning Center has math tutoring programs to help them in elementary school, middle school and high school. Huntington’s highly trained, experienced tutors help students overcome math struggles and increase their confidence using the proprietary Huntington approach:  

  • We start with a comprehensive academic evaluation. The goal of the evaluation is to identify gaps in math knowledge as well as opportunities for students who want to challenge themselves.  
  • Huntington teachers pinpoint weaknesses. The academic evaluation gives us a detailed snapshot of a child’s skill level. We identify trouble spots where your child needs math help. 
  • Huntington’s teachers develop a personalized tutoring plan for the student. We build our one-to-one programs around each student’s needs and goals. 

Math only gets harder as your child progresses from elementary to middle to high school. Even students who are good at math encounter difficulty sometimes! A skilled and patient math tutor can help your student boost their grades and their confidence. Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to get started with math tutoring for your child.