Somehow it’s March already, and that means it’s Maths Month at Cram Lab. The goal this month is to help your teen get a **system in place** to make Maths a lot less awful for them (assuming that is the case currently).

Maths gets such a bad wrap at high school, but is this deserved? Why is detested by so many?

I have two theories.

The first being, it’s hard for teenagers to see the point in Maths, particularly once they hit the senior levels. I think there’s a fair argument that senior Maths is not necessary for every student. Unless you want to study Engineering, Physics or Mathematics at uni, complex algebra does not make much of an appearance in the workplace for the rest of us.

In saying that, a strong foundation in Maths is — IMHO — essential for passing on what is really an essential part of understanding the world around us. We probably take for granted how much we rely on numbers to understand and measure literally everything.

But anywho, it’s the second theory that is important for the purposes of this post.

# A ‘Build-On’ Subject

**I think the second reason why so many high school students struggle with Maths, is because it’s what I call a ‘build-on’ subject.**

Maths is a subject that builds upon itself as each topic progresses.

The beginning of the school year starts off okay. Simple equations. Nothing too scary.

And then before you know it, if you haven’t kept up, the teacher is writing what looks like an alien language on the board. *WHAT DO THOSE SYMBOLS EVEN MEAN?!!!*

If your teen falls behind in Maths, they’re not going to have a clue what’s going on as the problems get harder. If they don’t get the first step, they’re definitely not going to get the second step.

And if that trend carries on, by the time exams roll around, they will have to *teach themselves* the content before they can even get stuck in to actually *studying.* That’s a nightmare situation for a teenager facing exams.

This is the conundrum many students find themselves in when they haven’t kept up in class.

# Keeping up in class

And that is the key. Keeping up with with the teacher, and following along with the rest of the class.

It sounds so mundane to say — that all your teen needs to do is ‘keep up’. But a lot of teens don’t, so it’s really important that we spell it out for them.

I totally get the temptation for teenagers to check out during Maths class. *I’m never going to need this this is dumb what’s the point.*

And we could debate the utility of high school Maths for hours, but my job is to make studying easier for your teen. And the thing that’s going to make Maths easier for them, is keeping up with what’s going on in class as best they can.

This is going to make studying so much easier for *future them.*

# How much study does your teen need to do?

I also have some good news.

A *little bit* of consistency goes an extremely long way. So unless your teen has some major issues with Maths, I wouldn’t expect them to do more than **15-30 minutes of practice questions after school**.

If they get stuck, they should talk to their teacher about it at school the next day, and / or turn to Khan Academy or other Maths resource for help and practice.

**This is the best way to stay on top of things while avoiding nervous / stress breakdowns.**

I have seen soooo many teenagers struggle through Maths unnecessarily (including one who didn’t know their 2x table *crying*).

But I am actually a fan of Maths, because I love how objective it is. The answer is either right or wrong. There’s no guessing. You either know how to solve the problem or you don’t.

I think this is a massive plus for your teen, because it removes any guess work about how to get good results. The only way to turn up to the exam feeling confident is to have **banked a lot of practice questions**.

Even if your teen is in the *I hate Maths camp*, I absolutely believe they can at *least* pass (and go further if they put in the effort) if they show up to class with their brain turned on, and do little bits of study frequently.

They don’t need to be an Einstein; they don’t need to study for hours on end.

They just need to build some better habits, and they’ll soon start to see that Maths doesn’t need to be the hated subject that it so often is.

As always thanks for reading, and here’s to better studying.

*Clare x*

Does this resonate? Is your teen struggling with Maths? Are they getting lost and falling behind? Let’s talk it out in the comments.

**P.S. If your teen needs more help with Maths, all of Cram Lab’s Maths-related posts are conveniently located all in one place here:**