5 Effective At-Home Strategies for Reading and Math
These past few years have been quite a rollercoaster, haven’t they? Navigating the educational landscape during the pandemic has been no small feat. At Revolution Prep, we understand how essential it is to stay informed and take steps to help your child succeed academically. The 2024 Harvard and Stanford study has given us valuable insights into how our students are doing, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and offer some much-needed support.
So, here’s the scoop from the study: students nationwide have made progress, and that’s something to cheer about! They’ve managed to recover about one-third of the ground they lost in math and one-quarter in reading during the 2022-23 school year. It’s quite an achievement, considering the challenges they’ve faced. However, there’s still work to be done to get back on track.
In math, students in most of the states studied are still trailing behind, about a third of a grade level below where they should be. In reading, almost half of the states are in a similar boat. The message is clear: our kids need some extra TLC to bridge these academic gaps.
Like many parents across the country, you may be wondering where to begin when it comes to helping your child improve their literacy and math skills. Don’t worry; we’re here to lend a friendly hand! Drawing from over 20 years of experience in tutoring, we’ve collected valuable insights from educators across the country. These tips are designed to improve your child’s learning journey beyond the classroom and right into your own home!
Three must-have tips for supporting struggling readers:
When it comes to helping your child improve their reading, think: “I do, we do, you do” — I’ll do it and have you watch. Then we’ll do it together. Then you’ll do it and I’ll watch!
- I Do: Read Aloud – Show them what great reading sounds like while boosting vocabulary and understanding. Pick a book together, find a comfy spot, and let them know you’ll do the reading. Ask them to listen not only to the story but also how you read it. Discuss when your voice changes, if you skip and go back to a word, or if you laugh or get confused. Explore these reading experiences together.
- We do: Have them imitate you: Using the same book you read aloud, pick a reading strategy and invite your child to join in (i.e. pausing when you get to a comma or period, changing your voice when you read dialogue, stopping to figure out a word you weren’t sure of, etc.). Start by re-reading that part yourself, and then have your child imitate the strategy back to you. Practice this a few times and share encouraging feedback along the way.
- You do: Daily Reading Routine: Set a timer for the next 15 minutes, and let your child pick a book they like to read independently. While they read, encourage them to use the strategy you practiced together. When the timer beeps, have a little chat about how they used the strategy during their reading time.
Two key approaches to assist students with math challenges:
- Fact Fluency: Establish a 10–15-minute daily routine practicing basic math facts using flashcards, math games, or even cool online tools (essential for struggling math students).
- Use Reading Skills for Math Problems: Here’s a nifty trick from Edutopia– apply reading comprehension skills to math problems! Follow these steps:
- Step 1: Read the problem together: Read the problem aloud together. Circle the question and underline key numbers and details. Visualize the problem by putting it into context.
- Step 2: Brainstorm your plan: Ask your child to come up with a plan for solving the problem and share it with you before they get started.
- Step 3: Math magic time: Help them test their plan and double-check their work for accuracy.
- Step 4: Explain how they did it: After cracking the problem, have them explain their step-by-step approach to you.
- Step 5: Make connections! Discuss what you observed during problem-solving, and identify patterns, rules, or alternative ways to solve similar problems together.
To access targeted reading and math support resources for practicing the “I do, we do, you do” strategy and enhancing fact fluency at home with your students, simply download our activity packs below!
Unlocking Math Potential: Building Math Confidence Together
The Power of 15 Minutes: Boosting Your Child’s Success Through Daily Reading
At Revolution Prep, our expert tutors are like superheroes, crafting personalized learning plans to address your child’s specific needs and swiftly close any learning gaps. We’re dedicated to supporting your child’s educational journey and ensuring their success. If you’re interested in our K-college programs, schedule a time to speak with one of our expert Academic Advisors (877) 738-7737.
Ben Neely serves as Revolution Prep’s Chief Research and Impact Officer, learning and speaking about admissions testing and the challenges students face in striving for academic excellence. After beginning his career as a high school math teacher, Ben has held roles in curriculum development and engineering management, and has spent more than 20 years helping families make their best decisions around the learning process. Ben earned his B.A. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and has been with Revolution Prep for 15 years.