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Bob’s Advice for Kid Struggling in Pre-Algebra


I’m 12 and in 7th grade. My problem is that I’m a kid struggling in pre-algebra. I’m getting a D and it’s just the beginning of the school year. I have never had a grade that low before. I was really good in math when I was little, but it got harder for me the last couple of years. I have been trying, but now I don’t think I can do pre-algebra at all.

– Hating Pre-Algebra


I’m sorry to hear of your struggles, but I think I can help someone like you, a kid struggling in pre-algebra. One of the things I’ve learned from hanging around a dojo is that attitude makes a difference. So to start, please take out words like “hating,” “hate,” “don’t think I can” and “can’t.” Replace them with things like, “I have an open mind,” “learning,” “challenging,” “working hard” and “doing my best.” And it’s okay to say, “I need help” too.  

Don’t dwell on how you were good in math then it got harder. Keep an open mind to learn what you need to learn now. And you can learn pre-algebra. Some things are more difficult for each one of us to learn and those things can be different for different people. That is okay, in fact it’s good. It means we are all unique individuals.

report cards can be a worry for a kid struggling in pre-algebra

When something that you need to do is difficult, do you give up? When you are a kid struggling in pre-algebra, do you just take the bad grade? NO! (I’m not yelling at you in anger, I’m cheering you on in encouragement.) What you do is, you put in more time, effort and energy into doing what you need to do to learn what you need to learn. Then you will get the best grade you can with that extra time and effort.

What a Kid Struggling in Pre-Algebra Can Do

You will need to spend extra time and effort to get a handle on pre-algebra, but that will be time well-spent and will also help you with your math in the future. You can ask your parents or an older family member who’s good with algebra for help. Or if you have a friend who’s a math wiz, you could ask for their help.

And be sure to ask your teacher questions! Whenever you don’t understand what is being covered in the class, ask for help. Pay attention in class, and then be brave and humble enough to ask the teacher to clear up what you don’t understand. Also, go to the teacher after class to ask for help.

asking for help is vital for a kid struggling in pre-algebra

You can also talk to your parents about getting a math tutor. Some schools offer after school tutoring. You also have the resource of the internet. One of those is the online Khan Academy which comes recommended by an educator. They have different subjects, including pre-algebra. If you don’t have internet access at home, look into it at your local library.

If you are having trouble with learning any subject, you will need to spend extra time and effort to bring your grade up. But that is your job as a kid. Staying on top of your class work will help, as well as recognizing our enemies of laziness and procrastination and fighting them off.

Go From a Kid Struggling in Pre-Algebra to Working Hard in Pre-Algebra

I know it may not sound like fun. But it is worth it to go from a kid struggling in pre-algebra to a kid working hard in pre-algebra. Do your best to keep a good attitude while trying your best. I know you can learn pre-algebra and you can get a good grade in it too. Keep on trying, Pre-Algebra Learner!


-Bob Cat

You can also ask Bob Cat for help here on Twitter.

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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