9 + 9=18 Tips to Sharpen Your Child's Math Skills

Challenges with working memory and sustained attention can make math even tougher for students with ADHD. Help them gain confidence with these simple tricks for parents and teachers alike.

9/21/2021 5:16:00 PM

Challenges with working memory and sustained attention can make math even tougher for students with ADHD. Help them gain confidence with these simple tricks for parents and teachers alike.

Kids with ADHD aren't the only ones who struggle with math, but challenges with working memory and sustained attention can make a tough subject even tougher. Help them improve math skills — and gain confidence — with these simple tricks for parents and teachers alike.

8 of 18Pair Up with a StudentWorking with a classmate is an effective way to master math concepts. Each child makes up a problem and solves it, then hands a copy of the unsolved problem to his partner to solve. If they come up with different answers to the same problem, they work to figure out why.

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A boy does practice problems at his desk to improve math skills9 of 18Meds to the RescueIf possible, schedule math class when medication is at its peak. Work with school officials to schedule the class about 1 to 1 ½ hours (if he’s taking a short-acting med) or 1 to 3 hours (if he’s taking a sustained-release medication) after the medication is taken.

Using dried beans at home to teach division and other concepts can lead to improved math skills.10 of 18Create Manipulatives at HomeHave your child use uncooked pasta, dried beans, or another household item to reinforce the concepts of division, subtraction, and addition. Place 40 items on a table. Then ask your child to divide them into 5 groups of 8—or subtract 10 and add back five. headtopics.com

A boy plays a tambourine and sings a song about math skills11 of 18Make Math MusicalMost children like to sing along with tapes or CDs that set multiplication tables and other math concepts to catchy tunes. To engage students further, come up with chants or class songs set to familiar tunes.

A girl eating a snack of cherries while counting them, a good strategy to improve math skills.12 of 18Put Math on the MenuIf you are serving a snack, such as cookies or grapes, ask your child to divide them equally among family members as a quick multiplication/division problem. While at a grocery store, practice converting ounces to pounds.

A student and teacher practice math skills at an activity board13 of 18Set Up ShopOpen a classroom store/bank in which students use checkbooks and transaction sheets for deposits and withdrawals. Collect shopping circulars and allow students to shop in class. Give them a set amount of money and have them recalculate their balance as they purchase items.

A teacher writes math problems on the board to help students improve math skills14 of 18Give Review Summaries for ExamsReview summaries are helpful study aids for students with attention deficits. Summaries are even more critical for parents who may help their student study for the test. headtopics.com

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A student does practice problems to improve math skills15 of 18Neaten Up Sloppy WorkKids with ADHD have a tough time spacing out their work and calculations on assignments and tests, causing them to make careless errors. Turn notebook paper sideways (with lines running vertically rather than horizontally). This makes it easier for students to keep numbers aligned in columns and reduces careless errors.

A student completes a worksheet at her desk to improve math skills16 of 18Give Extended Time on TestsSome children with ADHD have extreme difficulty memorizing basic math facts. This is not due to laziness. Even if they do know their facts by memory, they choke and can’t perform on timed tests. Allow students who can’t recall facts and write them down rapidly extra time on tests. Also consider giving them credit if they can recite the facts orally.

A girl playing a game on her tablet to improve her math skills.17 of 18Get Tech SupportUse computer games to drill and practice math skills. The games provide immediate feedback, and are fun, non-threatening, and motivating to students. These games also hold the interest of a student with ADHD. Teachers can adjust the speed and level of difficulty to keep kids on their toes.

One way to improve math skills is to consider using a calculator to avoid basic calculations and focus on mastering concepts.18 of 18Punch in the NumbersTry using a calculator for class- and homework. It allows students to focus on mastering concepts rather than struggling to remember math facts. Caution: Some students become “calculator dependent,” and may not remember how to do the basic problem. Review basic math skills periodically to make sure they know them. headtopics.com

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...so not gonna lie. If a teacher had done this for me when I was still in school, I would have cried because text based questions absolutely destroyed all my ability to math.

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