"What if my child doesn't like to write? How can I get them to improve their writing?" "What if my child doesn't like to read?"
If your child doesn't like to write and this is an assigned writing assignment (ex. from school), then I will ask your child to tell me what they want to write about first. I will engage them in conversation and ask them to describe to me their response to the prompt. Afterwards, I will ask them to write down exactly what they just told me. If this is a writing response to an assigned reading (ex. a book report), then I will ask your child to tell me about the reading (ex. what was your favorite part? Who is your favorite character? What do you think about so-and-so?) and we will go from there. If your child doesn't like to read, the only thing I can say is: bring them to a library or bookstore and let them choose something for themselves. Tell them they can read ANYTHING so long as it is appropriate. If they want to read comics, let them! As long as they are reading and willing to read, they are open to learning, and that is the most important thing.
Simplifying fractions such as 32/4 or, if this was a word problem: if Johnny has 32 apples that he wants to divide between 4 friends, how many apples does each friend get?
I always start out with a simple(r) example: if I have 1 apple that I want to share with 2 friends, how much of the apple does each friend get? And then I will use a visual aid (or ask your child to grab a couple visual aids) to demonstrate. I can take a piece of paper to represent the apple, and split it in half to show how it can be divided between two people. Then, I will give your child a couple more examples and ask them to solve them (to demonstrate understanding) before asking them to solve the actual problem.
A typical college admission will have 2 essay portions: 1) a personal statement, and 2) a problem-solving question where you are asked to provide a solution to a problem.
In this instance, I will ask your child what the specific questions per school are. I will ask them questions to guide their thinking (ex. why did you pick this school? What makes you special or unique? What hobbies do you have?) We can talk out what kind of issue or problem they would like to solve (ex. what do you think is the biggest problem in the world today?). We might create charts or columns to jot down ideas. Then, I will ask your child to write these essays out, and we will go from there.