Back to Basics Essentials

Is your child struggling with what seems to be simple Maths?

The main reason why students struggle with Maths I’ve found, is that they lack good basic Maths skills. Nearly every student I’ve tutored had poor basic Maths skills.

As soon as they started focusing on the basics, things started to improve.

As they learned and practiced the basics their confidence and “newfound skills” enabled them to understand and get better at the Maths they had been struggling with.

They were ahead of their class and many of them eventually went on to do VCE Maths.

What works and what doesn’t

If your child has been struggling with Maths for a some time then I can almost guarantee they have gaps in their understanding of the basics. Without filling in these gaps your child will not make significant progress in this tricky and important subject.

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.

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.

It’s essential 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.

Easy Steps To Start With

It’s important with students who have lost confidence and struggle with Maths to not overload them with too much too soon. It’s all about getting them started on the easy basic skills first. They need to have something they can do so they have some success in their first lesson.

By focusing on only a few areas of basic Maths to start with, your child will be able to develop skills in each of them more easily. Getting skilled in these areas then branching out to other areas when the time is right.

Understanding is the key to doing well in Maths

The main things your child will get from my tutoring:

  • Firstly a better understanding of questions that they’re struggling with. Whatever questions they’re getting stuck on, I’ll explain how to do them them in a way your child can understand. If one way doesn’t work then I’ll keep trying different ways until they do understand.
  • They’ll learn and practice the basic skills they’ve forgotten or didn’t understand in the first place. This will enable them to progress, step by step to the schoolwork they were struggling with, and beyond.
  • Their confidence will grow as they learn the basics. They’ll find the exercises relatively easy to do and they’ll soon be doing them with confidence. For some this happens in the first lesson. For others it can take a little longer depending on their attitude and how long they’ve been struggling with Maths.
  • Your child may get ahead of their class. Some of my students end up going ahead once they get on top of the basics and questions they were stuck on.

At some point your child will find that their school work starts to get easier. For some students this is after a couple of weeks of tutoring and for others it can take longer.

Your child will find:

  • That they can do maths…
  • Even the harder questions and not worry about getting the wrong answer…
  • That they can do better in tests…
  • That they can be as good at Maths as even the smartest kids in their class.

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.

Learning The Basics

Since starting tutoring in 1999, I devised a Back to Basics program. It consists of worksheet exercises in five areas of Maths: Arithmetic, Integers, Fractions, Decimals and Equations.

In any given lesson your child will be working on at least one of these worksheet exercises. Over time as their confidence and skills develop they’ll get through more exercises in each lesson.

At some point they’ll find they can do some of their school Maths that they’ve been struggling with and they can get help with it in any lesson they want.

The first step before getting started on this program is for you child to have an assessment lesson to find out where they’re at. Too make a booking for this lesson click HERE.

Best regards.

maths tutor frankston

Michael
Maths Tutor Frankston
The Mathematics Workshop