Just as the keystone of an arch keeps it standing, Algebra success plays a similar role in your child’s future. If one removes the keystone of an arch, it will collapse. Without the keystone of Algebra, your child’s life choices come to be very limited.
While many of my other articles have been directed at parents of pre-schoolers because I believe they hold the best hope for a definite impact on the time to come of mathematics for society; this narrative is directed at today’s parents of school age children. It is your child’s success that I am inspecting here; and your child’s time to come very much depends on his/her experiences with Algebra.
Depending on your child’s age now, the movement to make four years of high school math a graduation requirement may or may not impact him/her. You should be aware that this understanding is bright over the country very quickly. Another important issue is having high schools stop gift low-level math courses. In other words, schools will no longer offer a normal math or basic math course. Instead, math choices will start with Algebra and go higher. This is already in place in many schools. These two issues have some important consequences for you to consider.
1. Failing even one semester of Algebra means graduation is impossible without summer school or an further year of high school (the 5-year plan for graduation).
2. Since each math policy is a prerequisite for the next course, failing Algebra means higher levels of math can not be taken.
3. Failing Algebra removes many possible science classes if they are Algebra-based.
4. Failing Algebra means logic skills will be weak and this will cause problems in many areas.
5. Without Algebra, college acceptance becomes unlikely. Colleges ordinarily need at the very least Algebra and Geometry. Many also want 2nd year Algebra, and top colleges expect four years of high level math.
6. Without a college education (or some kind of post-high school education) vocation choices come to be very limited.
Yes, Algebra success is that important! Please note the emphasis on the word success. Scraping by with a ‘D’ will not be sufficient. Your child needs a strong Algebra background. And, as if these 6 consequences aren’t severe enough, the psychological issues connected with failure will have a negative impact on every aspect of your child’s life.
So, have I depressed you enough? Please trust that my goal here is not to make you feel helpless. My goal is to help you comprehend that you Are the explication for you child, and I need to convince you that you are capable of helping. I truly love mathematics, especially Algebra, and I truly believe that as long as a child has mean or above intelligence, conquering all of mathematics is possible. My goal is to help you see just how important mathematics is and to give you some suggestions as to how to direct your child to success.
For anything reason, many students have decided that mathematics is not important to their lives and, in some places, failing Algebra is practically a status symbol. Parents need to steer children away from these attitudes. Beginning as early as possible, you need to be emphasizing the importance of mathematics to your child’s future. (Make sure that your talk and your attitudes about math are positive. If your personal experiences with math were not good, you may need to institution definite talk.)
It is not uncommon for many students to be fearful of mathematics. They do not trust that they are smart enough to understand it or to learn it. This is Another roadblock to success that only parents can overcome. Your child has forgotten just how difficult it was to learn to walk and talk and read and write. And they do not remember just how persistent they where to learn. They need to be reminded of the hundreds of times that they got up again after a fall. They need to be reminded that they never doubted their own quality to learn. They entered school knowing they could learn to read and write.
The three key issues here are: (1) stress the importance of mathematics with lots of definite talk, (2) remind your child of his/her early persistence and quality to learn, and then work toward reinstating these attitudes in your child, and (3) do anything it takes. If your child is on the short track to Algebra, meaning in 7th or 8th grade and having trouble with math, then get a tutor–yesterday! If your child is in elementary school and doing well in math, keep praising and reinforcing success. If math difficulties are Beginning to appear, talk to the educator for advice. Contribute the help yourself if you can. If not, get a tutor.
Your child needs you to do anything it takes to insure success in Algebra. It de facto is the keystone policy to a successful future.
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