We at MathSteps.com believe that no child should feel intimidated by mathematics and that with the right guidance any student will find that math can be easy and fun.
Many students become discouraged very early on, because in most schools, very little attention is directed at developing logical thinking and analytical thought process. Teachers are faced with the challenge of larger class numbers and curriculum in limited time. Because a few basic steps are neglected, many students (and for that matter adults) consider themselves not gifted mathematically and essentially, they give up even before starting.
This problem can be easily remedied.
Problem solving is a task that requires the student to analyze a word problem, to identify the task to be performed and the parameters required to accomplish that task and to develop the strategy to be utilized to do so.
We believe it is important for a student to commence to develop his/her deductive reasoning at a fairly early age, roughly corresponding to grade 4, with very simple tasks, which nevertheless require the process of problem analysis, identification of information essential for the solution and finally, the implementation of strategy. Once this process is learned, it becomes much easier to incorporate in more complex and difficult problems in higher grades.
We suggest having your child start at the level corresponding to his/her grade. If it should happen that your child finds the problems too difficult, let him/her select a lower level and find his/her comfort zone. Following a sufficient time period, encourage your child to attempt the higher level again. Conversely, if your child finds the problems of his/her level too easy, try a higher level immediately.