Does your middle schooler have problems with mathematics?
The first step is to check something really easy. Any parent can quickly and easily check this and the problem can be remediated over the course of a few weeks without tutors.
Give your child a quick multiplication table quiz. This may shock you, but one of the biggest reasons that children begin to fail in higher mathematics, which they begin to explore in middle school, is that they do not have their mathematics basic facts, such as their multiplication tables, memorized (Van de Walle, Karp, and Bay-Williams, 2013). Without these facts, mathematics is a slow and painful process and seems out of reach for students.
If you find this is the case for your child, do not wait. Mathematics needs to be learned in a hierarchical manner: one skill builds upon another. The longer it goes on that they do not know their basic facts, the further behind they will get. The best way to approach this problem is with carrots and sticks as needed and to have your child commit several minutes each night to studying one table at a time. I have provided the first link for you for random practice with the 2s and 3s below. I will make a page that will provide links for practice of all of the tables up through 12. My suggestion is to have the goal of one table (5s, for example) per week, or two if possible (such as during the holidays). Quiz them at the end of the week. Each week, quiz them on some of the prior tables as well. The tables need to be learned automatically and quickly.
Basic Multiplication Facts Practice Links:
Here is a link for practice of just the 2s: http://www.mathfactcafe.com/worksheet/flashcard/1/3/s_m_mul2
11s: I’ll try to find a good source for this.
I’ll also look for some mixed practice.