How Moving Might Affect Your Child:by : Stephanie Chung
What MathRise Can Do to Help
posted on : 8/29/2014 12:15:41 PM
Many MathRise students come from families who lead transient lives. Some have parents in the military whose jobs require them to move often. Others move here for their careers. Still others move here just to get away from the hustle and bustle of places like Los Angeles, New York, and the Bay Area. To some, these moves are temporary, short term. To others, they are long term and strategic, hoping to find somewhere they can say they belong.
While there are many benefits to moving, there are also several drawbacks. One female MathRise student had actually been living overseas for most of her life. As a result, she could understand more than half a dozen languages. However, her studies showed a lack of exposure to written English and her grades thereby suffered.
As a child who had been to eight different schools by the time high school came around, I know first hand the effect that a transient lifestyle can have on a person’s education. Upon arriving at each new school, there was always the fear you would be behind, or your classes wouldn’t match up, or you would be completely lost in class. Additionally, it’s quite normal to have fears about finding quality friends and being social. I remember moving in the middle of 7th grade, and literally bursting into tears looking at 90 problems of math homework, chock full of material I had never even seen before.
In a country as large as the United States, one must expect that schools in certain states will have different curriculums, not to mention they will travel at different speeds through those curriculums. This creates a huge problem for students who transfer, especially those who transfer midterm. While their first school may have use a certain math textbook, their new school uses another, and the result is the transfer student may never formally be taught how to convert fractions to decimals, or how to find helpful words in word problems because they may have missed that lesson. On the other hand, they easily can be taught the same thing twice in two totally different ways, which often can be very confusing and frustrating to the student, and their parents.
This is where MathRise shines! The comprehensive assessments we do before starting classes allows us to pinpoint areas your child is strong in and also areas they are weak in. Often, problems in school boil down to an improper understanding of foundational material. For example, a student who is having problems with long division may be experiencing those problems because their multiplication facts aren’t strong, or because they never learned to skip count beyond 10s, 5s, and 2s.
Once MathRise identifies where a child is struggling, 1 on 1 classes begin to help your child create a super solid foundation, by teaching missing concepts and techniques, and in some cases, straightening out confused concepts and flawed techniques. Many times, MathRise instructors ask students to bring their textbook to class, so we can identify what the class knows, but the student does not.
Another factor of transient lifestyles which affects performance in school is the social aspect of moving frequently. In order to learn properly, a child must feel like they are safe, and must put effort into learning their coursework. Children who change schools frequently often fall into one of two categories: those who make friends easily and immerse themselves in their social lives, or those who struggle to make friends.
When I moved to my seventh school, it was the first time since kindergarten I had started at a school where not everyone already knew each other. When a student is trying to be accepted by peers who have known each other for many years, their schoolwork often suffers from lack of attention. Add to that, students who are new to a school are more susceptible to being bullied. They are the 'new kid' who is struggling to fit into a new social scene - new school, new classmates, and new teachers. They might not want to go to their teacher for help, and or may be scared of teachers they don’t really know.
At MathRise, we often find the one-on-one teaching environment provides a safe place for children to focus entirely on learning. With no outside distractions, there is no need to worry about peer pressure and how they appear socially with other children. Students and instructors often build friendly relationships, built on mutual trust, which helps students who previously felt they were all alone.
If you are concerned about your child's performance in school, or know of someone who can benefit from our services, please let us know. MathRise Learning Centers exists to serve you.