Study Habits for Mastering Math


Math is a difficult subject, often becoming a problem area for students. Understanding the significance of a vast, special vocabulary is a daunting task, and it’s important to recognize, comprehend, and apply each concept within.

Success in math means reading the material, attending your classes, and studying. This is not a subject students learn from listening; your student must learn from doing. 

K–12 study habits for mastering math

Although learning math can be frustrating, there are some key strategies to keep your student afloat and ahead of the game.

Active participation

Encourage your student to engage in daily lessons. Students should take time to read course material before each math class, and be prepared to ask any relevant questions that arise. Students should also actively participate in their class and never shy away from asking for help. The reality is that math requires a level of foundation, and the best way to build it is to do it. Each lesson your student engages in puts them closer to total comprehension of each subject.

Furthermore, without taking time in their courses to work through the materials, they cannot move forward. Have your student highlight any areas of confusion before their class, and ask them to focus on these areas during their class.

Practice problems

There’s no better way to learn than to get in there and start. When faced with new material, make sure your student doesn't shy away from practice problems. The more effort your student puts into their homework outside of the class, the more prepared they’ll be in class. Have them take time each night to practice new concepts; practice makes perfect.

Study habits

Math is a logical system that requires repetition. There are plenty of study habits to incorporate into your student’s daily work. For one, showing your work in math means not only getting the correct answer but understanding how you got there. Ask your student to always show their work.

A great way to memorize new math concepts is through flashcards. Students can use these to memorize meaningful terminology and apply it to their lessons. Another option is a study partner; working through problems with a classmate is a fantastic way to reinforce memory and build necessary knowledge. See if your student can join a study group!

One of the best ways to study is by planning. Take time to figure out when tests will be and what kind of timeline your student will need to meet the requirements. Five days out? Work on vocabulary. Four days out? Brush up on memorizing vocabulary and use it in application. Can your student meet with their study group before the exam? You get the idea.

Revisiting concepts

Remember the foundation we talked about building? Like any skill, math knowledge needs to be nurtured and rejuvenated, with each piece of information backing the other. High-level math concepts like calculus and trigonometry don't start on day one. Solving complex math problems means understanding each level before moving on to the next.

Going back to older chapters in their textbook allows students to maintain the foundation and problem-solving abilities in which new concepts are built upon. Revisiting concepts reinforces confidence in old course material, allowing that information to develop as second nature and easily incorporate into new course material.

Supporting mathematics at Laurel Springs

Laurel Springs School boasts an intricate system of support for students, allowing them to focus on mathematics with meaningful, helpful oversight. Students are encouraged to get help when they need it, set short- and long-term goals, and use the Equation Editor to communicate all mathematics.

“A key to success in an online self-paced self-directed environment is to set goals, both long term and short term,” says Laurel Springs Mathematics Academic Department Chair Patti McClimans. “Share those goals with your teacher and learning coach so that everyone is there to support your success. Work consistently towards those goals by connecting with the teacher.”

Laurel Springs offers a diverse course catalog and placement counselors to ensure that your child is placed in a math course optimizing their learning at the highest level. Here, students learn how to learn, and build the foundation of knowledge necessary to succeed in math and beyond.