What is the one subject that high school students need the most outside help with? What same subject is most associated with pain and torture? And has been for generations?
Clue – it’s not P.E….
Yes of course it’s math!
We have an unorthodox belief – one that your child might be vehemently opposed to initially – that math is actually one of the easiest subjects to get consistently good at.
No we’re not kidding!
If you’re anything like our parents, you’d squirm if your child ever handed you an algebraic equation to help with. And sadly this might be exactly how your child feels about math right now.
But not to worry. This is where the newly devised awesome theory of math simplicity kicks in…
Every math equation uses the same steps over and over (and over)
The key to becoming a math whiz at high school is simply memorizing a series of basic steps, and repeating them.
An algebraic equation might look horribly scary when you look at it as a whole. But it’s really not!
All your child needs to do is to work out what the basic steps are, learn them, and then repeat them. Individually these are easy enough for a monkey to memorize.
Applying the formula below will enable your child to solve any math problem with ease
- Work out how many steps a certain type of problem/equation has.
- Go through a few practice questions making sure you use the same steps the exact same way.
- Break down every problem/equation of that type you find into those same steps.
- Solve further problems with ease!
Let’s do an example – expanding a quadratic equation.
(You don’t need to know what a quadratic equation is by the way…)
Your child might already be (or will become) very familiar with this type of problem. But math-o-phobic kids right now will be squirming.
But we’re going to break this problem down into its most simple steps, and show you just how easy math really is.
Expand the brackets below:
To get the answer to this problem, you need to apply the FOIL rule. First. Outside. Inside. Last.
Step 1: First. This means you need to multiply the first numbers/symbols inside each of the brackets by each other:
x multiplied by x = x²
Step 2: Outside. Multiply the outside numbers/symbols by each other:
x multiplied by -5 = -5x
Step 3: Inside. Multiply the inside numbers/symbols by each other:
8 multiplied by x = 8x
Step 4: Last. Multiply the last numbers/symbols in each bracket by each other:
8 multiplied by -5 = -40
Step 5: Put it all together:
x² – 5x + 8x – 40
Step 6: Simplify (add up the bits that can be added up):
x² + 3x – 40 CORRECT ANSWER!!!
Hopefully you were able to follow those six steps fairly easily even if you don’t have a clue what the point was or what it all means. (What you actually just did was figure out the full equation for the line of a parabola. Aren’t you clever!)
This might seem too basic, but we’re really not oversimplifying.
The majority of math concepts your child comes across can be broken down into digestible, understandable, doable steps.
Once they understand what steps are involved, they simply need to practice by doing 50 problems using the same steps each and every time. Repeating these over and over will permanently engrave the steps in their memory – so every time they come across the same type of problem it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5, 6).
I used this technique to fly through Calculus in my last year of high school.
I didn’t always understand what I was solving or why it worked (it was hard!), but by sticking to the steps I’d memorized, taking each problem one step at a time, I came out with relatively high grades.
And your child can too. Instead of thinking of every equation as a big, massive, scary thing – just get them to take it one step at a time.