I'm a teacher. I've taught for more than ten years, every subject. I have advanced degrees in both subject area and educational theory. I'm
stating this not to brag, but so that you have my cv.
People do NOT learn the same way. Nor do we have the same abilities, opportunities, etc.
I made a thread on this a few years ago. "Determining Your Learning Style"
info here if you are interested.
One poster hit it spot on. Math is more about the thinking process, logic, than about actually doing math. After all, when was the last time you
need to use that trig equation? Or know the circumfrence of a circle? Or the formula for determing the volume of prism?
No doubt these are useful things to know....in certain fields. For the rest of us, we'll most likely never use the info again. And if we do need
it....that's what google is for. Simply plug it in and let technology hand you the answer.
Now, logical thinking IS important for everyone. Once you learn how to solve a problem by logically approaching it, then you've learned something
you'll use the rest of your life. Mathematical thought (and to a certain extent, scientific thought) is inherently logical.
Mathematical teaching in the US is currently undergoing a massive revolution. We no longer teach "one way" to find the answer, but instead try to
show that there are multiple paths to the right answer. An analogy I use with my students is going to Walmart. Lots of roads, shortcuts, etc. but as
long as I end up at Walmart, how I got there doesn't matter.
The Khan Academy is wonderful. Also look up Singapore Math. They focus on getting students to understand and easily manipulate the base 10 system.
This is fundational; algebra and higher math builds upon it.
Another point: people mature in their reasoning skills at different rates. However, the frontal lobe of the brain isn't fully developed until
around age 25....and the frontal lobe is crucial in math. This is why a lot of folks who never felt comfortable in math during their younger days
suddenly begin to understand as they get older. I know this applied to me. I was terrible in math, hated math all through my high school and college
career. In fact, I picked my first undergrad degree based on the fact that I wouldn't need math, just philosophy. However, I went back and studied
math as a graduate student, around 25...and found it made sense. Sometimes it really is a question of mental maturity.
One last piece of trivia, and I'll quit. Folks who are great in algebra tend to struggle with geometry, and vice versa. That's because algebra and
geometry are completely different thought processes. Geometry involves spatial sense and awareness, while algebra is more logical. I'm fairly
decent with algebra, and absolutely horrid at geometry. I'm also terrible with spatial skills, and I constantly get lost in my own hometown (I swear
this is true),
Hope this didn't come out sounding pompous, it wasn't meant that way at all. Just know a lot of folks struggle with math, that you can develop your
math skills, there are multiple learning styles and finding yours might help. Good luck with your college courses, and tell your child there is hope!