8th grade math tips: Here's how to help your student

Here's how you can help your eighth-grader master math outside of the classroom.
Girl standing in front of math equations on chalkboard

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By Aisha Labi

Hoping to help your eighth-grader with math skills? Here are some basic tips that experts suggest.

Highlight math in sports

Sports provide an engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts. Any hard-core baseball fan knows that the game can’t truly be appreciated without an understanding of some essential statistics, like a player’s batting average and runs batted in. Football is also full of statistics, such as the percentage of passes a quarterback completed. If your child is passionate about a sport, encourage them to explore it through math.

Use shopping to practice math

Make a habit of asking your eighth-grader to help out with the shopping by calculating which items are better buys. For example, is it better to purchase 2 six-packs of 12 oz. cans or two 2-liter bottles that cost the same price? How much do you save per item when something is priced as buy two get one free? This will help develop their facility with these kinds of calculations as well as good long-term shopping habits.

Seek out help from online resources

If your eighth-grader is struggling with math help them find resources online that may be useful. Sites such as Khan Academy or IXL offer extensive opportunities to review and practice math skills.

Highlight the ways math is used in different careers

Encourage your tween to explore the specific ways in which math is used in different careers. Do doctors use math? Engineers? Bankers? What are they starting to think of as career goals. Help them explore, perhaps by researching online or talking to other adults, what role math plays in the fields they are starting to consider?

Seek out films featuring math

Help your child become aware of the many career paths and disciplines that incorporate math, such as engineering or economics or weather forecasting. One way to do this is by watching movies that highlight math and help them understand how math can be put to use in the real world.

To find out what your eighth-grader will be learning in math class, check out our eighth grade math skills page.

Parent Toolkit resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject-matter experts, including Joyce Epstein, Director, Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University; Pamela Mason, Program Director/Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Barbara Stripling, Senior Associate Dean, Syracuse University; Linda Gambrell, Professor, Clemson University; and Cathy Fleischer, Professor, Eastern Michigan University, and align with the Common Core State Standards.