When Math Becomes a Major Challenge

Lots of people have trouble with math. It took me forever to figure out how to read a clock in first grade and I'm still not sure what 7 plus 4 equals. Occasional problems, a dislike of math or a preference for, say, algebra over geometry may not indicate a learning disability. Here are some of the actual warning signs of math challenges for 2nd and 3rd graders:

  • Counting on fingers long after the rest of the class are doing sums in their heads.
  • Making mistakes about the relative size or relationship of numbers (for example, thinking that 23 is larger than 99).
  • Being uable to take measurements with a ruler or understand the relation of the lines on the ruler to the numbers.
  • Misunderstanding or confusing the symbols for adding (+), subtracting (-), multiplying (x) and dividing.
  • Having trouble keeping score during games.
  • Being confused about the concept of time and greatly misjudging how much time has passed.

Only about 6% of the population has dyscalculia (the math equivalent of dyslexia). Even if a child is not diagnosed with dyscalculia, the challenges listed above can still affect that child's performance in school and lead to lifelong difficulties with math. In an article entitled "Early Math Errors Persist," researchers at the University of Minnesota discuss the signs of math challenges in 2nd and 3rd graders.

At Windy Row Learning Center in New Hampshire, our math tutors are specially trained in internationally known instructional programs to help children overcome their math problems. Please feel free to info [at] windyrow.org (contact us) if you have any concerns.