How Can I Help My Child with 2nd Grade Math?

The 2nd grade math curriculum includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, place values, measurement, time, money, story problems, and dividing shapes into parts. As quickly as the curriculum goes sometimes, it can be difficult for a student to stay caught up when they struggle with a particular concept. If you want to help your child but aren’t sure how, here are 5 suggestions to help him or her master the topics and excel in math class.

FREE Math Video Lessons from Magoosh! Start here.

2nd grade math, help your child - magoosh
Image by Flamingo Images

Partner with the Teacher

Your child’s teacher knows where your child excels and what your child may need to review. Don’t be afraid to contact the teacher. Let the teacher know that you want to help your child succeed and ask about what you should focus on as you work with your child. The teacher may have other ideas for improvement that you can implement at home.

Discover Math Websites and Apps

For many students, math is a chore. Because of this, it might be difficult to get your child to practice math outside of class. However, there are lots of fun resources available on math websites and apps. For example, check out Sushi Monster to help your child review math facts in a fun and interesting way. Find a website or app that your child enjoys and sit with them as they use it to support their learning and growth.

Learn Word Problem Keywords

While working with elementary school children, I’ve found that one of the hardest parts of word problems is deciding what you’re supposed to do with the numbers given. Should you add them together? Do you need to subtract them? To get around this, work with your child to identify keywords that will tell you what to do. For addition, some of the keywords include

    • Altogether
    • Added
    • Both
    • Extra
    • In all
    • Join
    • Plus
    • Sum
    • Together
    • Total

And for subtraction, you may see phrases like “how many more…?” or “how much less…”. You can also look for some of the following keywords:

    • Decrease
    • Difference
    • Fewer
    • Left
    • Remain

Help your child memorize these keywords and practice identifying them in word problems.

Use Flashcards

It’s important to master the basic math facts, such as addition and subtraction, before moving onto more complex problems. If your child needs help memorizing them, consider breaking out the flashcards. Run through the cards on a regular basis, focusing on the ones with which your child struggles. Flashcards can be a great way to practice when you’re waiting in line or need something to pass the time on a trip.

Quiz Your Child

At some point in your schooling career, you probably asked your math teacher “when will I ever use this in the real world?” Sound familiar? Before your child starts asking that question, it would be helpful to show your child how math is applicable in life. When you’re at the grocery store, ask your child to compare prices.

Have your child count the money in your wallet. Have your child estimate heights or divide your pie for dessert. Of course, you could break out games like Monopoly and assign your child to be the banker, too.

Look for ways to incorporate math concepts into real-world situations, so your child gets the needed practice while understanding why the concepts are important to learn.

When you think about how often you calculate prices, cut pizza into perfectly even portions, balance your checkbook, or determine how much of one thing to buy, you know that math is important. Help your child learn the 2nd grade math curriculum so your child can excel in math and use it in real-world scenarios, too!

FREE Math Video Lessons from Magoosh! Start here.