Something that many parents and guardians have probably heard at some point, the “Are we there yet?” of education – “I hate Maths”. It’s certainly something that we’ve heard a lot here at Tutor In A Box before people start their tutoring journey.
Recent studies conducted by BPS and Schools Week have identified that around one third of children feel anxious about their Maths ability regardless of their actual performance, and that’s only children aged four to six. What’s more, the pandemic has made this worse, with more students now anxious about their Maths skills than before.
The Tutor In A Box Team believe that Maths is something that’s really important and should be enjoyed (hooray for numbers!), but if your child is one of those currently stuck in a Maths-shaped rut, what can you do to spark their interest?
Why do children “hate Maths”?
As Maths fanatics, we love it! However, we understand not everyone is the same. In our experience, it most commonly seems to be around confidence, or lack of it. Maths can be so technical, and there’s usually only one answer. So making that progress from question to solution can seem impossible, starting a vicious cycle of lacking confidence in Maths, to not wanting to practice it, to hating it.
So how can you break this cycle?
Changing the Maths mindset
If you’re sat there scratching your head as to what in the world you could do to change your child’s opinions of Maths, we’ve got you covered.
Firstly, we want to dispel the idea that someone is either “good” or “bad” at Maths. It’s simply not true. Here at Tutor In A Box, we instead like to promote the growth mindset, where students believe that, through hard work, using good strategies, and with the right support, anyone can improve their Maths skills. In other words, Maths isn’t an inherent ability, but something that can be improved with practice. As we said in our last blog – practice makes perfect!
And what’s great about Maths is that it is so easy to practice. At home or on the move, quick Maths challenges can be completed anywhere. Recently, our fantastic new tutor Emily S shared a video on the Tutor In A Box Facebook page about exploring symmetry. It’s fun, easy and can be completed from any location. Alternatively, check out the amazing Amandine’s video on practicing times tables using an egg box!
To make Maths fun for younger students, we love introducing tactile objects to really get them involved! Consider multicoloured wooden blocks, Lego, or even jigsaw pieces to help with addition, times tables, and counting.
Games are also a great way to make numbers more exciting. A simple game of Monopoly introduces young people to money, and with that, addition and subtraction. You could let your child have a go at being the banker to really test their skills!
And what’s more fun than sweets and chocolate? This one appeals to children of all ages, even 16+ year olds won’t say no to a bag of strawberry pencils to practice factors and multiples, or a Bakewell tart to learn fractions or circle circumferences.
But what else can be done?
Enter the Tutor In A Box team!
It’s our mission to make Maths fun, because it can be awesome (we promise)! We always make our learning interactive to get students involved, using props to demonstrate and simplify complex equations. Learning doesn’t just have to be on paper.
We also take the time to get to know our students before we start working together, so if there’s something that your child is really interested in, we can incorporate it into our lessons. Perhaps you child really likes a certain book series. If so, we can phrase questions with their favourite characters in!
We also create a positive and inclusive environment – no question is too silly when it comes to Maths. Whatever questions our students have they can ask them with confidence and without fear of being judged.
If students enjoy what they are learning, they are more likely to want to practice it. Then they become more familiar with topics and learn methods that not long ago seemed impossible. That vicious cycle of hating Maths suddenly becomes a positive cycle of learning, engagement, and success!
If you’re interested in Maths tutoring contact the Tutor In A Box team on 01926 942140 or email us at email@example.com.