To some extent, it is normal to hear kids claim that they “hate math” and “just don’t get algebra.” But if this complaint starts becoming more frequent and your child seems to be developing a certain amount of anxiety around algebra this could be a sign of a problem. Letting kids struggle with algebra for too long can cause problems down the road and lead to more difficulties in school.

There is a certain amount of memorization required in math but overall, the concepts learned in math build upon one another. So if your student is struggling to recall basic math principles that they learned a long time ago, they are probably struggling with algebra.

A certain amount of frustration is normal anytime students are learning a new concept. Very rarely do students “feel” like doing homework or solving math problems but if the level of frustration seems extreme this could be a sign of a bigger problem.

An understanding of math is necessary for budgeting practices. Kids who can’t seem to manage their money may be struggling to understand basic math concepts.

How do you estimate how long a task will take or know when you need to leave to reach your destination on time? An understanding of algebra is required to do both of these things.

People with a good understanding of math know how to think critically and use deductive reasoning to solve problems. If your student can’t seem to do either of those things this could indicate a problem.

This may or may not be true but if you have a good understanding of the subject you are working on then the quality of the teacher can only influence your learning so much. Blaming other people is a good indicator a problem in school.

Most kids dislike homework to some extend and try to put it off or avoid doing it occasionally. If your child seems to feel overly anxious about their algebra homework this could be a sign of a problem.

Anytime kids try to hide things from their parents this is a sign something bigger is going on.

Frequently pretending to be sick so they can miss school — particularly on days when you know they have an algebra test or quiz — can be a sign of a problem with math.

If your child has just accepted the idea that they are “bad at math” and have given up on the thought of doing well in that subject it is time to look into outside help. It can be hard for kids to understand that no one is just born understanding how to do algebra problems. A good tutor can help your child understand that algebra is a skill they can improve upon over time.

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