Is your child having
trouble with math
? Talking with the teacher can help you understand what’s happening and how to help. You can talk during a parent-teacher conference. Or you can set up another time to talk, either in person or by phone or email.
But how do you express your concerns? When you talk to the teacher, be clear and specific. Ask questions and follow-up questions. The whole point is to find out what’s going on and what can help.
Here are sample conversation starters to make the talk easier.
Asking to meet or talk
“Hi. I’m Olivia’s father, Joe. I’m worried about how she’s doing with math. Can we find time to talk about it?”
Starting the conversation
“Thanks for talking with me. I’m concerned that Olivia is having trouble with math. We practice the addition and subtraction facts on the sheets she brings home. But she quickly forgets the facts we go over. What do you see when you work with her in class?”
“Can you tell me how Olivia’s doing with math overall? Is she keeping up? Is there anything specific she’s having trouble with?”
Following up on answers
“You mentioned she has difficulty with
. I’m not sure what that is. Can you give me an example?”
Asking about help
“What can help Olivia with math? Are there things you can do in class? What do you recommend we do at home to help her with math?”
Finishing the conversation
“Thanks for your help. I have a better idea of what’s happening with Olivia and math. Can we talk again after I have a chance to think about this?”
Some parents and caregivers have a hard time talking about their child’s challenges. They may not be comfortable talking to teachers. Or they might feel embarrassed that their child is struggling with math. But teachers can provide information and advice that nobody else can.
Do you have a parent-teacher conference coming up? Here’s a list of more questions you can ask.