This is a question that many parents ask. Exams are coming up soon and their child has been struggling with Maths for some time. The Maths teacher says not to get a tutor because it might put undue pressure on the student. Your instincts are telling you to get help.

Should you follow the teacher’s advice or seek the help of a Maths tutor? What is the best option for your child?

Well that depends on what the school offers. Some schools have lunchtime classes. Some have after school programs. Some have the resources to take students out of their normal Maths class to get extra help with Maths.

Certainly if the school does not have the resources to offer additional help then parents will invariably need to look outside of school. And as soon as possible.

Because if nothing is done then things will not change. Gaps in understanding Maths concepts do not magically become clear. It is a very rare and gifted student who can sort out their misunderstanding with Maths without someone explaining it to them. Most students are not in this category and so will need help from someone. Such as a tutor.

So will getting a tutor just before exams put undue pressure on the student? Will it cause more confusion? Or will it actually help them unravel what they don’t understand and move them in the right direction?

Yes it will. Having those areas that they don’t understand explained in a way that makes sense to them, will help to move them in the right direction. Learning the correct way of solving a problem has got to be better than not knowing how to do it.

It helps in a number of ways. Firstly the student will feel better because they finally understand what they didn’t at school. Secondly they know that they will be able to do similar questions on their own at home. But this confidence and knowledge will only happen if they practice what they have learnt.

And they need a certain amount of time to put in the practice and consolidate what they have learnt. So as long as they do have sufficient time to learn and practice, the help that a tutor can provide will be of benefit to them.

That’s why it is best to get help for your child sooner rather than later. Before the problems compound. Before they have another negative learning experience which can turn them off Maths. And being behind in any kind of race always makes it more difficult to catch up and almost impossible to win. Unless they are an exceptional student.