How to build your child's confidence in maths
Over the last two years we have seen an influx in the number of parents who want their child to feel more confident in maths. Traditionally, maths is considered as one of the hardest subjects in schools and as someone who has been through it and now tutors maths, I would like to share with you my top tips on how you can help your child become more confident in their maths class.
Working with many students, I can say that I have not had any 2 students who were the same. That's the fun part of teaching, you always have to find an innovative style of teaching to suit the students needs. Of course I have this luxury because I am working with them on 1-2-1 basis but I completely understand that in a school classroom where there are 30 more children, the class teacher isn't able to give them same amount of individual attention.
This bring me to..
Find out what style of learning is optimal for them. What do I mean by that, I have students who respond well to explanations about real life use for the formulas and topics that I teach. We have all heard someone say.. "where would I use Pythagoras?", but if I explain that Pythagoras is frequently used in architecture, woodworking, or other physical construction projects and that it's one of the most effective tools for construction workers to figure out perfect square angles then the topic becomes much more interesting.
The other types of learning could involve incorporating colours. For children with dyslexia or dyscalculia, I suggest using a non white paper to write on, avoid red and green colours too. They often respond well to dark coloured paper like navy blue. A really good website to read on this is https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/employers/creating-a-dyslexia-friendly-workplace/dyslexia-friendly-style-guide
There are various way you can adapt the teaching style but the keys is to find what works for the child and that takes trial and error for you as the parents.
Work on one topic at a time to build their fundamental knowledge. In school, children can miss things taught in the class because they simply got distracted thinking about their lunch break. Once that happens then in the next lesson when the teacher gets in more depth with the topic, they suddenly feel lost and are too afraid or embarrassed to ask questions. I would therefore suggest targeting the core topics and starting from the very bottom.
Repetition repetition repetition! Maths is not difficult, it just requires a lot of repetition when you are trying to get your child good at it. Even if a certain style of question comes easy to them, ask them to do similar questions 50 more times. If you don't do that, then the chances are they will forget the topic next week or so. I would then make the questions harder to ensure the children feel more confident and see their progress. Give them a reward for answering the harder questions. I call these the STAR questions and give my students a star for it.
Ask from the school the program they are following for maths and work with your child on the topics they will be studying, ahead of school schedule. This is the most powerful tip I can give you because the student will feel confident going into the classroom already knowing the topic and ready to put their hand up. Whats more is that the school lesson will now become a revision lesson and help them remember the topic for a longer period of time.
Create a little A5 Maths Book.
I always create with my students (of any age) a little maths book where they write their formulas and methods to solve certain questions. You want it to be A5 size so that they can take it to school and use it when they need to remember a topic. When writing the methods, make sure you use colours and us as little words as possible. It should only contain the essential information and be easily read.
These are my top tips to make your child feel more confident in maths. Of course there is a lot more to this and if you aren't able to teach your child then I would strongly suggest you using online resources, school teachers help or private tutors as this will all help them grow more confident.