Are you someone who never enjoyed math classes in school? If you aren’t, chances are that you know at least a handful that didn’t. Math is a bad rap, but it shouldn’t—it’s a subject that teaches important principles that will remain important in almost any field of study. Unfortunately, many students are not taught to make the connection between theoretical math and practical application. That hatred you have of numbers could simply be the result of how the subject is taught in most curriculums!
For subjects like mathematics, which depends on a child’s ability to grasp concepts and build upon them later, creating a strong foundation early on is crucial. Without a strong foundation, a child can develop math anxiety. This is because it will be difficult for them to understand more advanced concepts if they lack a proper appreciation of earlier ones.
The effects of math anxiety can persevere well into childhood, which may hamper a person’s ability to develop analytical skills. Needless to say, even if a child doesn’t end up being a mathematician or any other profession within the hard sciences, analytical thinking skills are integral to succeed in the real world.
The problem compounds as each year progresses because the foundational concepts are never addressed in regular school curriculums. To address this difficulty, it’s crucial for children having difficulty in math to be given extra attention through math tutoring.
Math tutoring sessions should feel different from regular classroom instruction. This is because children learn at different paces and through different styles. This explains why not all children perform well when they are only taught to listen to lectures, take down notes, and solve mathematical equations on the board. For math tutoring sessions to be practical, a tutor should address the gaps that regular classroom instruction may be leaving behind.
This is where the four primary learning modalities, namely kinesthetic (movement), visual, auditory, and tactile (touch), come in. Most children can learn through any of these modalities, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their preferences. If a math tutoring session is to help a child develop a solid foundation in mathematics, then they need to learn it in the easiest way possible.
For example, predominantly visual learners will appreciate visual aids and more tangible representations of mathematical concepts. Because mathematics is usually taught in abstract terms (equations, properties, formulas), it can be difficult for visual learners to appreciate their importance. This can lead to disinterest in the subject, which will do them no favors when the test season arrives.
Kinesthetic learners may feel the same confusion for abstract concepts as visual learners. This is why hands-on activities, cooperative groups, and even play-acting can be useful tools for understanding foundational mathematical concepts.
It’s worth noting that such specialised teaching methods may be challenging to apply in regular classroom sessions. This highlights the importance of math tutoring sessions as a way of augmenting traditional classroom instruction. With a much smaller class size, a math tutor may better address a child’s specific learning modality, which will help them catch up with their more mathematically-gifted peers.
Unlike other subjects such as history, basic science, or languages, students cannot just repeat mathematical equations and expect to get more than a passing grade (if not a failure). To prevent math anxiety and appreciate how math is essential in daily life, students need to develop a strong foundation.
If you or your kid is having difficulty in HSC Maths, Young Growth Academy offers 2U Math Tutoring in Penrith, New South Wales. We provide standard math tutoring in Penrith for regular students as well. Contact us today for a risk-free trial.