# Overcoming Algebra Struggles: Is Math My Downfall?

• 7longhorn
In summary, the conversation is about the speaker's concern with their algebra skills and their ability to help a friend with a simple algebra problem. They feel embarrassed and worried about their lack of understanding in early high school math, even though they are excelling in higher math classes. They plan to take additional math courses to improve their skills and be able to help future children with their math homework. The other person in the conversation reassures them that they will be able to learn and understand the related rates problems with practice and review.
7longhorn
Hi,

I posted this a few days ago but it disappeared along with my registration. Anyway, this is a concern about my algebra skills. I'm in a calculus I class at college and things are going well. I'm able to learn/understand/apply things at the expected proficiency.

My friend who is also a freshman is taking Algebra 1. A few weeks ago she asked me for homework help. I'm known for my love of mathematics, so I suppose she asked me for help thinking I'm a math expert. In truth, I don't think I am, and I don't make it apparent that I'm great at math or anything.

Well, sadly, I found that I was unable to help her with her Algebra 1 homework, which was a simple d=rt type rate problem, like "John is riding his bicycle at 2 different rates. If it takes him 90 minutes and he averages a speed of 20 mph and his rates are x and x-20, respectively, what are his individual rates?"

I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I was unable to solve the problem fully. I got far, but I couldn't come up with the answer. To make this feeling worse, I want to minor in mathematics. I just don't understand how I can be good at higher math but suffer with early high school math.

How am I supposed to fix this hole in my algebra background? Will learning calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations be enough (i.e. when I get my minor)? I'm just worried that I'll have a math minor but won't be able to help my future kids with their math homework.

Thanks.

Take Linear algebra, calculus and Differential equations. Then take an Analysis class and an Abstract Algebra class. Follow this up with a high level honours probability class.

After all this you should be able to teach your kids some math

7Longhorn

No need to be worried about those related rates exercises from Algebra 1. You are still developing. You should have the competency of Algebra required for Calculus 1 since you are in it now and doing well. Just review the related rates problem solving approach which you learned in Algebra 1 and you will become good at them; better than when you studied Algebra 1 the first times.

EDIT: I did not mean to suggest that those types of problems are unimportant; only that you can easily enough study them again and understand the solution approach.

## 1. What are some common algebra struggles and why do they occur?

Some common algebra struggles include difficulty understanding concepts, confusion with solving equations and word problems, and poor math fluency. These struggles can occur due to a lack of foundational knowledge, ineffective teaching methods, or a negative attitude towards math.

## 2. How can I improve my understanding of algebra?

To improve your understanding of algebra, it is important to review basic concepts and practice regularly. Seek help from a tutor or teacher if needed, and try different learning strategies to find what works best for you. Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification when you don't understand something.

## 3. How can I overcome my fear of math and improve my math skills?

The first step to overcoming a fear of math is to identify the root cause. Is it a lack of confidence, negative past experiences, or a belief that you are not good at math? Once you understand the cause, you can work on building your confidence and changing your mindset. Practice regularly and seek help when needed. Remember that everyone is capable of learning math with the right attitude and approach.

## 4. What are some effective study strategies for algebra?

Effective study strategies for algebra include breaking down concepts into smaller parts, practicing regularly, and seeking help when needed. It can also be helpful to find real-world applications for the concepts you are learning and to use different learning methods, such as visual aids or mnemonic devices.

## 5. How can I stay motivated while overcoming algebra struggles?

Staying motivated while overcoming algebra struggles can be challenging, but it is important to remember why you are learning algebra and what your goals are. Set small, achievable goals and celebrate your progress. Seek support from friends, family, or a tutor, and remind yourself that with persistence and effort, you can overcome any struggle.

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