The Top 8 Tutoring Tips for Maths HomeworkNovember 24th, 2015 by Anna Michaelidou
We all know that Maths does not come naturally to everyone and contains some concepts that can be difficult for children to learn. Many parents turn to private tutoring as understanding complex problems and trying to explain them to your child can be extremely difficult and frustrating. The great thing with tutors is that they usually develop unique methods of training your child to understand and make things easier for them.
When it comes to being a good Maths student more often than not a little help can go a long way. It can be the difference between a struggling and unhappy child and a successful and content student.It is crucial to understand where the child is in regards to their understanding of the topic in question so listening to the child will enable the tutor to assess the level at which the child is at.
Simple questions to the child is the answer:
- What do you think this is asking you?
- Where do you think we should start?
- Can you figure out what steps we need to take to work out this problem?
Asking questions like these allows the child to think on their own and sometimes even solve the problem in their head. Maths is a complicated subject for a child to learn so trying to make it as simple as possible is always a good solution. In this article you'll learn some great tips and methods to help your child with Maths homework and enable a simpler understanding of maths concepts, whether you are a parent or a private tutor.
1. Plan homework time
I think most parents would agree that routine is precious. Just like at school, where children have their class routines, homework should be no different. Having a plan in place for when your child should be doing their homework means that they will get into the habit of knowing that at this time of the day it's homework time and it won't seem like a chore. It could be that your child gets in from school, has a snack and settles down to do their homework before dinner-time. Whatever the circumstances making sure that homework is scheduled for a certain time of day will ensure that homework becomes a normal part of your child's daily routine.
2. Use drawings and diagrams
Drawings and diagrams are a great way of explaining a Maths problem to your child. Having your child label the diagrams with different points such as sizes of angles, fractions and solutions to problems not only helps instil information and promote a better understanding but also makes it more fun.
3. Be as involved as possible
Whether you are the parent or the tutor, being involved with all aspects of the subject your child is studying is fundamental. Talking to the child about school and how they are getting on and having a relationship with your child's Maths teacher will not only show that you are interested in both the child and their school-work, but will also enable you to ask questions about the course or enquire about getting a copy of the syllabus so that you can plan your lessons better. Teachers always appreciate a parent or tutor taking an interest is their child's development at school.
4. Consider private tuition
It is a common fact that many working parents do not have the time to give their child the extra attention they need for their homework. It is also a fact that many parents find Maths homework too challenging to comprehend and thus too difficult to help their child understand. This is where a Tutor comes in. Tutors are now very accessible to all parents.
5. Reduce distractions
It is always a good idea to make sure that your child has the peace-and-quiet they need to concentrate on their Maths homework. Children will need to be focused when learning something new or trying to figure out a Maths problem. Make sure distractions are limited by making sure the television is turned off, other children are not noisily playing beside them, someone is not talking loudly on their phone nearby and computer games or web-surfing are not allowed during homework time.
6. Reward them with praise
Maths is a difficult subject as it is and a child can feel very stressed and frustrated when at first they don't understand; they can often feel like a failure. It is very important to praise a child and let them know on a regular basis that you have noticed how hard the have been working. Praise and encouragement are exactly what every child needs to keep them motivated to do better and succeed.
We all know that forcing and pressurising a child into learning a topic leads to a negative feeling in the child and you becoming frustrated. That's not to say that children should not be pressured in a good way. Positive pressure mixed with encouragement and praise is the best way forward. Let your child know that you are concerned about them and following their progress and offer a gentle nudge in the right direction where appropriate without making them feel that you are nagging all the time.
8.Visual aids and real-life examples where possible
Children connect better to seeing things happen in real-life so try to involve Maths in many of the things you do everyday. When children make a visual connection to information given to them their brain can interpret the logic behind a problem much easier. Giving examples and relating back to something they have learnt in Maths is an excellent way of helping your child to digest data. You can use many tools that we don't necessarily think of to help our children with Maths. Here are a few examples of simple ways to get children to connect with Maths in an easy and informative way:
☑ Count out their pocket money and work out how much things cost
☑ Measuring ingredients for a bake-together cake
☑ Shopping lists and quantities and paying at the check-out
☑ Block-building; subtracting or adding blocks
☑ Numbers on street signs or posters
☑ How much shampoo is left in the bottle (using fractions; a third, half etc.)
☑ The speed at which the car is travelling at
☑ How much petrol we put in the car and how much per gallon it costs
☑ Pointing out different shapes around the house
There are plenty of ways to make Maths more fun and incorporate it into our daily lives. Think about the ways you can help your child solve a certain Maths problem and try to find ways to show them with visual aids. Flashcards are also a great way of breaking down Maths problems and are a great activity to do with your child.
By considering the above listed tips you will be on the right track to ensuring your child works towards better success with Maths homework. Remember, Maths is a process and by walking through the process with your child you are supporting them on their learning journey. Making Maths fun when possible and explaining that Maths is actually a part of our everyday lives will help them better understand and give them the necessary tools to succeed.
As Stan Gudder, a famous American mathematician once said:
The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.
Post By: Anna Michaelidou
Anna has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.
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