How to Help a 10 Year-Old Learn Math and Avoid Careless Mistakes

How could I help a 10 year-old avoid careless mistakes in maths?

Learning Mathematics is one of the fundamentals of a well-rounded education, and for 10 year-olds, that education can be intense. It is a time when they are learning new ideas and formulas, and the days of “easy math” are gone.

What if you notice your child is struggling with math and making mistakes? You can help them, with a variety of tips, tricks, and techniques.

If your 10 year-old is struggling with math, check out what you can do. Even if you aren’t great at math, you can still help your child succeed and excel.

Math Lessons a 10 Year-Old Will Learn

Your child will learn a lot about Math in fourth and fifth grades, which is what grade most 10 year-old children attend. Some of the core principles and math skills taught at this age include:

1.) Multiplication- long and short

2.) Division- long and short

3.) Addition and subtraction on numbers larger than 10

4.) Addition and subtraction using multiples of 10 and 100

5.) Fractions

6.) Ability to write any number to one million

7.) Know the value of digits

8.) Decimals Numbers

A good way to determine if your child has really mastered these skills is to see if they can answer them correctly and quickly. If they are hesitant on any questions, that is an indication that they have not mastered the skill.

The good news is that fixing in deficiencies in math is easy when children are young, if you are willing to put in the work and stay consistent with practice.

What Is Common Core Standards?

Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative that details what K–12 students in the United States should know in English and mathematics at the end of each school grade.

If you are helping your child with their homework in Math, you most likely have encountered new methods of doing math that have helped children reach their CCS goals. These methods may be frustrating for those who were not taught them in school, but they were developed to help more children reach school completion with real knowledge. CCS are:

  • Evidence-based to work, based on other top-performing countries
  • Consistent
  • Based on application of knowledge, not just memorization

You need to be aware of this because it will help you understand the new mathematical methods being taught in your child’s classroom, so that you can then help your child if they are struggling.

Reasons a 10 Year-Old Is Making Careless Mistakes In Math

Children often struggle with school work, even the brightest of the bunch. This means that your 10 year-old may not be struggling with math, but rather just making careless mistakes. Then again, small mistakes could be an indication of some bigger problem. Here are some reasons your child may be making mistakes in math.

Cognitive load theory– We are asking them to remember too much at one time. If your child is making mistakes, they be experiencing an overload and cannot remember all of the formulas or rules. This is why it is important for children to learn no more than five mathematical theories or formulas at one time. Once they have them mastered, you can teach them more.

Instant gratification society- we have knowledge at our fingertips, which means we don’t commit things to memory the way we used to, and children do so even less. For this reason, limiting screen time is important to teaching kids how to think for themselves and how to memorize facts.

They don’t know the basics- if your child is making mistakes in math, they may not know the basics. If your child skated by in math in previous school years, they may need to revisit those theories and relearn the basics to catch them up so that they can understand the new information they are being taught. To determine if this the problem, test your child on former grades’ skills.

They aren’t learning it the right way- CCS allows for very different methods to be used in order to learn the material. So, if your child is struggling and making mistakes, they may be learning the materials in a way they are not comfortable with. Changing the learning method could help them grasp the material.

They need practice– Sometimes, the simplest answer to the problem is the right one. If your child is struggling and making careless mistakes, they may just need more practice to learn the information.

They are too smart for what they are being taught. Children who are bored will doze off or daydream in class, which can lead to mistakes. Make sure your child is challenged enough to keep them stimulated, awake, and learning.

They are having issues with peers or at home. Children who are stressed cannot focus on school work because they are too worried about personal matters. Make sure your child is not facing bullying at school or problems at home so that they can be fully present for school.

Programs That Help a 10 Year-Old Learn Math

If your 10 year-old is having problems understanding the math they are being taught, you can use several computer programs and apps to help them. Kids today learn well with technology, so using it to help them learn math is a smart choice. Here are some apps that can help:

Motion Math: Pizza!

In Motion Math: Pizza! Children will learn economics and mental math as they buy ingredients and design pizzas, set their prices, and serve customers.

Prodigy Math Game

Prodigy offers free, Common Core aligned math games for grades 1-8. This is an interactive game where kids can learn and play alone or with friends. It also provides teachers and caretakers with useful feedback on what your child needs help in.

Reflex Student

Reflex is a research-based programs made for grades 2-8 to help student develop their memory for math facts. It works for students of all abilities, so if your child is struggling with math, this is a great way to help them build their mathematical foundations.

Number Line, by the Math Learning Center

Number Line helps students label multiples of any whole number from 1 to 100 and gives them strategies for counting, comparing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers.

Number Pieces, by the Math Learning Center

Number Pieces helps students develop a deeper understanding of multi-digit numbers and learn how to regroup, add, subtract, multiply, and divide them.

iTooch Elementary School App

iTooch Elementary offers more than 25,000 exercises to help students practice Math. It offers speech synthesis, an embedded calculator, and multi-player management.

There are many other great apps to help your 10 year-old with math, but these are some of the best. Try a variety of them to find the one your child likes and uses best.

Other Ways to Help a 10 Year-Old With Math

When your child was young, using play and fun is the best way to teach them. That doesn’t change much as they get older, and some studies have even shown that adults learn better through playing games. Teaching your child math doesn’t have to be boring for them- or you! Here are some techniques (that don’t involve screens) to help your struggling 10 year-old with math:

Have your child help you cook. This often requires measurements, which can involve math. Plus, cooking together is a great bonding experience!

Listen to your child and ask questions. You may be surprised to learn that your child is smart enough to not make mistakes in math- and maybe that’s the problem! They are bored in school. Then again, you may also learn that your child is struggling because of specific issues. All it takes is communication.

Play with them with toys. You can sneak math into playing with toys, such as when you build with legos or blocks, puzzles, and science toys.

Plant a garden with your child. Not only is this a good physical and bonding activity, but it can help your child learn math by how adding up how large the plants will get, how much space and water they need to grow, how long it will take them to grow, and more.

Every day is a learning opportunity for children. If you know that your child is struggling with math, you can help them with simple tasks. It doens’t have to be boring or stressful, for either of you.

Determining Your 10 Year-Old’s Learning Style

Many people think that testing is the best way to determine if your child is doing well in school, but that may not be the case. Some students don’t test well, and there is a reason for that- most tests are done via pencil and paper. There are four different types of learners and the way your child learns could have a big impact on how well they do in school.

Visual LearnersVisual learners prefer graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and so on to help them learn information. This type of learner does well in math, since these items are often used to teach math.

Auditory LearnersAuditory learners will remember information best after reciting it back to the teacher, but often, they don’t have that option. This means they could struggle with retaining information. If your child is an auditory learner, you can assist them by having them read the material to you when they get home.

Additionally, this type of learner may do better when they test by having a verbal test or a quiet room where they can “think out loud” as they complete a written test.

Reading/writing Learners This is the type of learner that does best for written tests, as they learn and test better with written word and numbers.

Kinesthetic LearnersKinesthetic learners prefer hands-on activities for learning, so they need a learning environment that allows them to participate and not sit still. Additionally, they may also need a test or testing environment that lets them build, draw, or move around to keep focused.

Once you know what type of learner your child is, you can tailor tests and observations to their specific learning style to make sure they are not only learning properly, but retaining the information.

Learning Disabilities

If your child seems to be struggling in ways that you cannot understand, it may be time to have them professionally evaluated to make sure they do not have a learning disability.

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that is directly related to math. Kids with dyscalculia have a difficult time understanding number-related concepts, symbols, math functions, and formulas that are needed to succeed in mathematics.

To determine if your child has dyscalculia they will need to be professionally evaluated. Evaluators look at how well a child can do basic calculations, recall math facts, solve problems quickly, and identify numbers. Each test will looks at different skills based on your child’s age.

If your child does not have dyscalculia, and you are not able to help them with math, you may need to consider hiring a tutor to assist them, or taking them to a learning center that helps children with different learning abilities.

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Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare

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