Maths is not just about getting the right answers. Show your child that the journey can be as rewarding as the results by having as much fun as possible along the way.
The following tips for math tutors and teachers are from Mr Benjamin Yang -- Director of Business Development for Epigami, a tuition agency dedicated to improving the quality of tutoring outside of the formal education system.
According to Mr Yang, usually it's advisable that parents should not be directly involved in teaching their kids more complex math when they are older (teaching a very young kid skills like counting on the other hand is perfectly fine).
Why? Because the parents are likely to have been out of the school system for a very long time and may not know the exact emphasis or mode of teaching, which may serve to further confuse the kids.
Mr Yang says teachers and tutors are encouraged to help improve their students' math learning in the following ways (tip no. 6 is something that parents could do):
- Explain the logical reasoning behind the methods.
- Test the child with a similar question but twisted in another way to check if they thoroughly understand.
- Show student step-by-step ways to use math formulas (they have to start from the basics and get it right from the start before jumping in deep).
- Revise key concepts using questions in increasing difficulty. This allows the kid to feel confident from the start rather than dejected and demoralized from the beginning.
- Use 'gamification' of math concepts. For example, simulate a game where the 'evil' boss is a mathematics question and one that has to be squashed and conquered.
- Story telling and simulation. Use tools such as cutlery, matches etc that allows the kids to see for themselves the consequences of mathematical questions.
- Simplify. Instead of explaining in a whole string of sentences why not employ drawing such as that of the Sakamoto method. This allows the kids to take charge of the questions, use their creativity and have fun at the same time.
- Group learning. Competition and peer pressure actually positively affects kids' will to perform better (especially in boys). However, this is not comparing grades after the whole exam/test is applied.
- Allow the kids to teach it back to the tutor. If they can teach, they know the material. If they can't, they also realize immediately their deficiency.
- 10 yr series. Yes the dreaded practice sets. Clocking a number of these will allow the students to see different permutations of the same concepts. But this does not mean forcing the kid to memorize every single question there is.