Home Back to School: Get Ready to Crunch Those Numbers

# Back to School: Get Ready to Crunch Those Numbers

As summer days are numbered and the school year is on the horizon, it’s time to get back into the academic mindset. Whether you’re a student dusting off your ruler and notebooks or a parent preparing for the back-to-school rush, there is one subject that is always at the top of everyone’s minds: math.

Math is quite literally everywhere – whether you’re calculating your allowance, figuring out how many days until your next vacation, or solving those tricky algebra problems. So, how do you get ready for a new school year full of equations, numbers, and fun? We’ll show you.

## 1. Review What You Know

A new school year means it is the perfect time to review what you learned last year. No matter how well you understood (or even memorized) math concepts, it’s always best to brush up. Before you dive into new topics this school year, it’s best to revisit the fundamentals. Whether you’re in elementary school perfecting multiplication tables, or in high school learning geometry, reviewing the basics will give you a solid foundation to build upon.

### Review Tips

Some of the best ways to review your mathematical knowledge is through flashcards, practice problems, and math games. Flashcards to practice key formulas and concepts are an effective and quick way to jog your memory.  Practice problems like revisiting old homework or using online resources will help you better comprehend what you found challenging last school year. Incorporating math games into your day will reinforce basic skills in a fun, easy way. Whether it is on a road trip or taking a swim in the pool, almost anything can be turned into a math game.

## 2. Set Math Goals for the Year

The best way to stay motivated throughout the school year is by setting goals. What do you want to achieve in math this year? Maybe it’s mastering a new topic like fractions or acing your trigonometry exams. Setting specific and reasonable goals will help you stay focused and track your progress during the year.

### Goal-Setting Tips

Goals should be specific, have smaller milestones, and be positive. Specific goals like “I would like to improve my geometry test scores by 15%” is better than a simple “I want to be better at geometry”. Smaller milestones like completing a certain number of practice problems each week will make it easier and less intimidating to complete your larger goal. Goals that are positive will keep you motivated and in a positive mindset. It’s okay to struggle with difficult concepts and every mistake will teach you something that will lead you in the right direction.

## 3. Organize Your Math Supplies

Having the right tools is important to succeed in math. Before school starts, take a look at all of your math supplies. Are your calculators and protractors functioning? Do you have enough notebooks and graph paper? Being organized from the start of the school year will help you tackle math assignments with even more confidence.

### Supply Checklist

There are a few basic essentials that will depend on your grade level and math subject. Where a high school student may need more supplies, an elementary student would need less. Here are the general basics: a calculator, notebook, graph paper, ruler, and protractor. Based on your grade level, you may not need a calculator, or you would need a basic or graphing calculator. A notebook specifically for math is important to keep track of all your notes. For geometry and graphing equations, graph paper will be crucial to have. For any math subjects that discuss angles and triangles, a ruler and protractor will be needed.

## 4. Make Math Part of Your Daily Routine

Math certainly does not and should not be confined to the classroom. Since math is all around us throughout life, you should incorporate it into your daily routine in fun and practical ways to practice. This helps to reinforce what you’re learning and makes math feel more relevant to your everyday life.

### Daily Math Tips

A few instances where math is used could be cooking or baking, budgeting, and while playing games and puzzles. When cooking or baking, you will most likely be following a recipe with measurements for each ingredient. Understanding ounces, cups, liters, and so on will help in a situation where you need to double a recipe or even cut it in half. Budgeting your weekly allowance or your savings is a great way to practice your math skills. Math-based board games or puzzles like Sudoku are fun and easy to add to your daily life!

## 5. Stay Curious and Ask Questions

Math is all about solving problems and being curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class or ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s a tricky homework problem or a concept that doesn’t make sense to you, asking questions is the key to understanding and mastering math.

### Curiosity Tips

There are many ways to stay curious- study groups, help from teachers, and online resources. Study groups allow you to discuss and solve problems together, reducing the pressure you may feel to solve it yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for help or clarification on topics you find challenging – or even individual tutoring to ensure you are reaching your full potential. Online resources like tutorials and math forums will help you get questions answered with explanations as well. Utilize the resources you have access to to make your math journey even better.

## 6. Embrace a Growth Mindset

Math can feel scary, especially when you encounter difficult problems. But don’t forget that it’s all about growth. Keeping a growth mindset means understanding that your math skills can – and will – improve with practice and effort.

### Growth Mindset Tips

A few ways to keep a growth mindset are to embrace challenges, celebrate progress, and keep practicing. View challenging problems as opportunities to learn and grow. Recognize your achievements no matter how small they are. Any and every step forward is a step in the right direction. Consistency is key. You will find this holds true in more areas of life than just math. Consistent practice of your math skills will help reinforce what you’ve learned and build your confidence even more.

## Conclusion

As you head back to school, embrace the excitement and challenges that come with learning math. With the right preparation, a positive mindset, and a little curiosity, you can make this school year your best one yet in math. If you find yourself in need of a little extra help, OMC is here to get you to where you want to be. With online individual tutoring and two levels per grade, you will be matched to a classroom that matches your needs.  So, sharpen those pencils, dust off your calculator, and get ready to crunch some numbers—this is going to be your best math year yet.

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