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## Math Is Not Hard!

As a math tutor for 15 years, I have tutored hundreds of students at all grade levels. I found that most students were not comfortable with math. More than 80% of them said, “mathematics is very hard”. Why do most students find math a difficult subject and try to avoid it?

The answer to the above question is hidden in a simple example. I always give the example of stairs to my students, and I give the same example in this article. I compare the steps of a staircase to the concepts of mathematics. Since it is very difficult to reach the upper floors of a building without stairs (or elevators nowadays), it is very difficult to learn higher concepts in mathematics in the same way without learning the basic concepts.

People have to start from the ground, then the first step, second, third and so on to reach their destination floor. Exactly the same way students have to start from kindergarten, then first grade, second and third grade and so on to reach their destination in math. Also, if some of the steps are broken in the staircase, it is still difficult to reach the desired floor using those steps. In the same way, if you lack some of the basic concepts of the elementary years, mathematics for you is always difficult.

Now, kindergarten, first grade and second grade are like the first steps of the staircase. You can easily learn this level of math because you can jump enough to easily get to the second or third step of the stairs. As it is very difficult to reach the sixth or seventh step of a staircase by jumping off the ground, exactly the same way of learning mathematics in fifth grade or higher is very difficult (if not impossible) without having the right K-3 knowledge or fourth-grade mathematics.

Now consider that a person jumps down to reach the third floor of a building. Can this person get away with it? Never, if he’s not Spiderman. For this person, reaching the third floor by jumping is impossible or very difficult and finally he gave up saying that it was very difficult to reach the third floor.

But another person used the stairs to reach the same floor. This person found it very easy and achieved it with little effort. Compare this person to a student who knows all the basic concepts learned in elementary school. Teaching sixth or seventh grade math to this student will be easy. But there’s another sixth-grader who doesn’t know lower-level math concepts like times tables, factors, or the number system. This student is in the same situation as the person who jumps to reach the third floor from the ground floor.

From the example, it is very clear that math in every class is equally important. So you have to focus on math in all classes on all basic concepts. Ask lots of questions to your teachers. Keep asking until you are unclear about the concepts or topics you are working on.

Each level acts as a step in the entire staircase leading to the math skyscraper. Being bad at math at any level is like breaking a few steps down the whole staircase. While broken steps make the entire staircase risky or scary to use in the future, incomplete math skills in lower grades make high school math very difficult.

So what does it take to be smart in math? My answer is; stay focused on math at every level of your studies. Participate in your math practice sessions in class. Ask your teacher lots of questions until you’re unclear on a concept. Math is about solving problems on paper by hand rather than just reading them. As with social studies, taking more readings makes you smarter, in math, practicing lots of problems and solving them by hand makes you smarter.

To practice math, math textbooks are the good source. You learn a concept in a workbook, then in the same booklet there are more problems on the same concept for practice. Another great way to practice math concepts is using math worksheets and you can print math worksheets from the web for free.

Finally, the choice is yours. You can choose the jump method to reach your math destination or you can use a correct and proven path to reach your math destination.

The straight and proven path to the mathematical destination involves the following steps:

* Start learning math as soon as you start your kindergarten

* Concentrate in your math lessons and listen to your teacher

* Ask your teacher a lot of questions until you are unclear about the concept, you are learning

* Convenient, convenient and practical. For this, you can use worksheets or math notebooks.

**If you take the proven path, one day you might say, “Math isn’t hard.**

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