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My daughter is in 9th grade and is in the IB Honors program, but with high school being an adjustment, she's struggling now. She's failing Algebra and is fighting me on going to a tudor for help. What do I do without pressuring her so much?




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Question: How do I get my teen daughter motivated to want to do better in school?

My daughter is in 9th grade and is in the IB Honors program, but with high school being an adjustment, she's struggling now. She's failing Algebra and is fighting me on going to a tudor for help. What do I do without pressuring her so much?


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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

LiviaMcCoy writes:
I am sorry your daughter is struggling so much in school. I believe the starting place is with your child's algebra teacher. You need to find out what may be going on. Can your daughter do the work, but she is not doing it? Does she not understand the current topic, but understood everything up until now? Or, is this a bigger problem? Until you understand what the problem actually is, you cannot solve it. When you and your daughter figure out why she is having trouble and get her back on the right track, she will most likely regain her motivation.
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TarshaH writes:
Thank you... The Algebra teacher hasn't been much help, so I've told my daughter she'll have to get tudored... She said the work is difficult and I explained that when she doesn't understand, to ask questions. She's very shy, so she's not one to automatically raise her hand and ask questions.
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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

LiviaMcCoy writes:
Since your daughter is shy, the tutor is probably a very good option. Also, make sure she still remembers her basic math facts. It is my experience that many children understand how to do the algebra concepts, but make computation mistakes (like multiplying 5X6 and getting 36). Best wishes to you. I hope she gets the help she needs!
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deanna writes:
Starting with "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail," actress Danica McKellar (remember Winnie from "The Wonder Years"?) has written a series of whimsical and well received math books specifically for girls. Your daughter may benefit most from her latest: "Hot X: Algebra Exposed," which features Danica's step-by-step lessons mixed with Seventeen-magazine style quizzes and other friendly and accessible math exercises. (Where, oh where was this when I was in middle/high school??) I agree that a tutor could be wonderful but in your daughter's spare time, this book could be an inexpensive and fun tool to boost her skills. Good luck!
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TarshaH writes:
Thank you Deanna/Livia! I'll look into these books by Danica also.
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