Back to Basics Essentials

Tutoring that will help your child Master the Basics so they can successfully complete their year level Maths

Has your child been struggling with Maths for some time? If so then its more than likely they have gaps in their understanding of the basics. Nearly every student I’ve tutored was struggling with their school Maths when they came to me for tutoring. All of them had gaps in their understanding of the Maths that they were doing at school.

The ones who were struggling the most had the most gaps in their understanding.

Because of this they weren’t able to do their year level Maths. Many of them of them told me that when they asked for help in their Maths class, their teacher just repeated their own way of doing the Maths problem. My student still didn’t understand what their teacher had explained to them so they just said to their teacher that they did understand it so they could help someone else.

This is just one example of how something in Maths that isn’t understood, can prevent a student from building further understanding and skills in that area of Maths. In short, a gap has been created and it may not ever be filled with the right understanding and skills.

What they needed was Maths that they could do. Simple Maths that they could understand and successfully complete with help from their teacher.

First Steps

The first step for most students is to have a basic skills test to find their areas of weakness. Then with my help and guidance they start working on one of the basic skills they couldn’t do.

This helps them forget about what they couldn’t do on the test and instead, focus on how to do the skill. So the first thing I do is show them the process so they understand it. Then they have a go on their own.

After they’ve finished I correct their work and go through any they didn’t get correct. Then I give them a score and tell them “well done” or “good effort” depending how many the did correctly.

Then they start on the next skill and repeat the process. By the end of the lesson they’ll have successfully done one or more exercises and this makes them feel like they can do Maths – one of the most important outcomes that gives them a boost of confidence in their first lesson.

What Happens next?

In each subsequent lesson your child will be working through their individual back to basics program in a similar way to what they did in their assessment lesson. They’ll work through a number of different exercises and can ask me for help any time they’re not sure.

Each exercise is slightly harder than the previous one so students can progress to higher levels of difficulty. As your child builds their basic skills they’ll reach a point where they find that their school work starts to get easier. For some students this is after a few weeks of tutoring and for others it can take longer.

What works and what doesn’t

As a school teacher I would show my struggling students how to do the steps. Some of them caught on but still needed help in every lesson and didn’t make any real progress. They didn’t have the foundation skills they needed, to even do the easier questions in each topic.

  • If your child has been struggling with Maths for some time then it’s almost certain they have gaps in their understanding of the basics. These gaps must be filled in or your child will not make significant progress in Maths.
  • They may be able to rely on a calculator, learn by rote or get help with their homework. These approaches seldom have lasting effects because they don’t address the issue of the missing underlying concepts and skills.

What works is that your child learns and practices the basic skills that they’ve either forgotten or didn’t learn in the first place. This will give them confidence as they stair step their way to the level of the school Maths they’re struggling with

Types of Lessons

Private Lessons.

If your child is really struggling with their school Maths and needs constant help to learn and understand the basics then they may need a few private lessons to get started.

When they’ve learnt enough skills to develop some confidence they may be ready to move into a group.

Small Group Lessons.

In a group lesson your child can develop more confidence than they will in private lessons for a couple of reasons.

Mainly because they’ll be asking and answering questions in front of the other students in the group. If they get used to that then they’ll develop more confidence over time.

And also because they’ll be having a go at the problems on their own. If they can get through them on their own, then they’ll feel more confident about doing similar problems at home on their own.

Your child will also learn from the questions that the other students in the group will ask. And I’ve found that most students like helping each other when I’m busy helping another student.

Is There A Set Format For Group Lessons?

No, there isn’t a set format for group lessons. I don’t teach the students in a group as a group. Each of them works on their own learning program or schoolwork and that will be the same for your child if they join a group lesson.

Book an Assessment lesson

I do online lessons with Skype or Zoom. Contact me me by phone on 0410577469 or 97705189 for more details or to make a time for an assessment lesson.

Primary school Maths tutor Frankston

Is your child falling behind at school because they don’t understand the foundations of Maths?
Are they finding it difficult to understand their teacher? Do they have a history of struggling with Maths? Will they be ready to make the transition to high school?

Primary school Maths is all about learning the very basics of Mathematics.

Nearly everything your child learns in Primary school will be the foundations for high school. If they don’t understand these foundation concepts then they won’t be able to build upon them. This means that they will struggle in any area that relies on the foundations they do not have.

The more fundamental the concepts

the more important it is that they are learnt and understood correctly. If this doesn’t happen then there will be major gaps in your child’s understanding and incorrect interpretations of concepts will be created. Both of these will prevent your child from progressing beyond certain points in Maths. So they end up falling behind.

If this is happening to your child then they need to have these gaps filled in and misunderstandings corrected. If they don’t then they will continue to struggle.

So the key to helping primary school students

get back on track in Maths is to find the most fundamental concepts they don’t understand and then help them understand them. This needs to be done by focusing on learning one thing at a time. One concept at a time. This makes it very easy for them to gain the understanding and apply a skill to help consolidate that understanding. This works best if they use pen and paper. Not calculators!

The concepts need to be learnt in a structured way

An individual learning program that builds upon what was learnt in the previous lesson will do this. It will allow your child to work on what they need to work on and not necessarily what they are being taught at school. As these foundations are put in place they can move ahead in areas that they were previously getting stuck in.

This re-building of the basics is best done initially in private lessons. Having the one on one attention will help your child to get started and develop some skills and confidence.

Further down the road when they have developed some confidence in their skills and a better understanding of some of they key concepts they may be ready to learn in a group situation. They can then work on their own in the lesson. This as well as asking questions in front of other students is what will really help to build their confidence.

Homework will be given that is relevant to the concepts and skills that your child most needs to practice.

How important is it for your child to be good at basic Maths?

What would it mean if they’re not struggling with basic Maths? And knows their times-tables and has excellent basic arithmetic skills? What difference will it make to their education and potential career prospects if this is the case?

Because this is what happens with students I tutor. Provided they put in the effort they do end up with very good basic skills. And a solid foundation upon which to build more advanced Maths concepts.

Of course this only happens if they practice what they learn. I don’t make any promises about what your child can achieve. That’s up to them. But what I do promise is that they will have whatever it is that they don’t understand explained to them in a way that they will. And they will also be learning the skills and key foundation concepts in a structured way.

In short they will be learning the tools that will enable them to more easily advance in Maths. And if they put in the effort to complete the suggested homework, they will improve.

Fill the gaps in your child’s Maths

This “Fill the gaps” program has been used by many students. If your child uses it too, they’ll find that:

  • Each exercise is easy to learn and do.
  • There aren’t many steps so it’s easy to remember how they’re done.
  • They’re steadily improving their understanding of basic Maths.

  • Getting the answers correct builds their confidence.
  • They feel like a winner because they can do the Maths.
  • Over time they’re willing to try the harder Maths questions.

  • The exercises fill the gaps in their Maths skills.
  • This builds a solid foundation of basic skills.
  • The foundations enable them to do the Maths they were struggling with.

  • The exercises build their confidence in Maths quickly.
  • their attitude towards Maths become more positive
  • Their focus becomes “how do I do this one?” instead of “I hate Maths”.
  • Their test results in Maths start improving.

Assessments are done in an initial private lesson

In this lesson your child will do a basic skills test first. Once it’s finished and corrected (by me) they’ll get started on their individual learning program with my help.

Take the first step towards helping them get back on track by contacting me to make an appointment for an assessment.

If for any reason you feel that this initial lesson has not helped them the lesson fee will be refunded. No questions asked.


VCE Maths tutor Frankston