Boosting Math Confidence: Techniques to Overcome Math Anxiety and the Role of Tutoring
Many students experience stress, fear, or apprehension when learning and performing mathematical tasks. This phenomenon, known as math anxiety, can negatively impact academic performance and self-esteem and hinder students’ ability to solve problems and think critically. Overcoming math anxiety is essential for students of all ages, as strong numeracy skills lay the groundwork for a well-rounded education and future success across various fields.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we are committed to helping students conquer math anxiety, boost their confidence, and achieve their academic goals through our personalized, in-home, and online tutoring services across North America. Our experienced tutors provide tailored guidance and support designed to meet the individual needs of each student, fostering a positive, engaging and nurturing learning environment.
In this blog post, we will discuss techniques for overcoming math anxiety, the benefits of developing math confidence, and how tutoring plays a vital role in supporting students on their journey to academic success. By providing practical strategies and insights, we aim to empower students to break free from the constraints of math anxiety and unleash their full potential in the world of numbers.
Understanding Math Anxiety
Math anxiety is an emotional response to mathematics that can manifest as feelings of dread, worry, and helplessness. Various factors can trigger it, including past negative experiences, societal pressure, or learning difficulties. Math anxiety often leads to losing confidence in one’s ability to learn and perform mathematical tasks, which can hamper academic progress. The first step in overcoming math anxiety is identifying its potential causes and developing strategies to mitigate their impact.
Techniques to Overcome Math Anxiety
Several proven techniques can help students overcome math anxiety and boost their confidence in their ability to tackle mathematical challenges.
1. Adopt a Growth Mindset: Encourage students to shift their perspective and view mathematical challenges as opportunities for growth rather than threats. Remember that perseverance, practice, and a positive attitude can improve their skills and understanding.
2. Break Tasks into Manageable Steps: Break complex math problems into smaller, more manageable tasks and steps that students can tackle individually. This approach helps reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and instills a sense of accomplishment with each step completed.
3. Use Real-World Examples and Connections: When teaching mathematical concepts, use real-world examples to help students understand the relevance and practical applications of the subject. This approach can help students form connections between the content and their own lives, making the material more engaging and relatable.
4. Develop a Calming and Relaxation Routine: Teach students relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, or positive self-talk, to help them deal with the stress and anxiety associated with math. Please encourage students to use these techniques when they feel overwhelmed or anxious during math lessons or assignments.
The Benefits of Boosting Math Confidence
Overcoming math anxiety and developing confidence in mathematics can have numerous positive effects on students; academic and personal lives.
1. Improved Academic Performance: With increased confidence and reduced anxiety, students are better equipped to engage with the math curriculum and perform well on assessments.
2. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: As students learn to navigate mathematical challenges, they develop critical problem-solving skills that are applicable across a wide range of subjects and situations.
3. Expanded Career Opportunities: A strong foundation in mathematics can open the door to various career paths in science, technology, engineering, and finance.
4. Empowerment and Personal Growth: Overcoming math anxiety can positively impact a students self-esteem and confidence, empowering them to take on new challenges and strive for success in all aspects of their life.
The Role of Tutoring in Overcoming Math Anxiety
Personalized tutoring can be a powerful tool in combating math anxiety and boosting students; confidence. At Prep Academy Tutors, our experienced tutors provide individualized, in-home, and online tutoring services across North America tailored to address each student’s unique needs through:
1. Customized Learning Plans: Our tutors begin by assessing a student’s strengths and weaknesses, then develop a customized learning plan that focuses on building key skills and addressing areas of difficulty.
2. Supportive Learning Environment: Tutors foster a supportive environment that encourages students to openly discuss their anxieties, challenges, and concerns, creating a safe space for growth and improvement.
3. Encouragement and Motivation: Our tutors provide ongoing encouragement, praise, and reassurance, creating a positive learning environment where students can develop self-confidence and take risks without fear of judgment.
4. Regular Communication and Progress Tracking: Tutors maintain open communication with both students and parents, providing regular updates on progress and offering suggestions for strategies that can further enhance learning and boost confidence.
Math anxiety can be a significant barrier to academic success but with the right support and guidance, students can overcome their fears and develop the skills and confidence needed to excel in mathematics. At Prep Academy Tutors, our goal is to provide personalized, in-home, and online tutoring services across North America that cater to each student’s unique needs, helping them overcome math anxiety and unlock their full potential.
If you’re looking for math tutoring in North America, Prep Academy Tutors has you covered. Our personalized in-home and online tutoring services are perfect for students of all ages and skill levels. Contact us today to find your local tutor and start the journey toward overcoming math anxiety, boosting confidence, and empowering your child to succeed in mathematics and beyond.
The Top 7 Benefits of Hiring a Math Private Tutor
Mathematics can be a challenging subject for most students. It requires a certain understanding and mastery to excel in this subject. While some students may find it easy, others struggle to grasp the concepts and principles.
It can be frustrating for students who feel like they are not progressing in their math classes. This is where hiring a private math tutor can be beneficial. This article will discuss the top seven benefits of hiring a private math tutor.
One of the primary advantages of working with a private math tutor is that it can improve your performance in the subject. Tutors are trained to identify your weaknesses and help you work on them. They can provide personalized attention, which is impossible in a classroom setting.
With one-on-one sessions, students can ask questions and clarify their doubts without feeling embarrassed. Tutors can also tailor their teaching methods to suit the student’s learning style, making the sessions more effective.
Better Understanding of Concepts
Mathematics is a subject that requires a deep understanding of concepts and principles. It can be difficult to solve problems and apply formulas without a proper understanding. A private math tutor can help students understand the concepts and principles in a way that makes sense. Tutors can break down complex topics into simpler parts, making it easier for students to understand.
Many students cringe when it comes to math. They may feel intimidated by the subject or feel like they are not good enough. Hiring a private math tutor can help boost their confidence. Tutors can provide positive feedback and encouragement, which can help students gain more confidence in their abilities. Their confidence will continue to develop as they see improvements in their performance.
Teachers have to divide their attention among several students in a classroom setting. This can make it impractical for them to provide personalized attention to each student.
With a private math tutor, students can receive individualized attention. Tutors can identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. This can help students develop their math skills at their own pace without being overwhelmed.
Another benefit of hiring a private math tutor is the flexibility it provides. Tutors can work around the student’s schedule, making it easier for them to join tutoring sessions. Tutors can also provide online sessions, which can be attainable for students who live far away or have transportation issues.
Improved Study Habits
Math private tutors can also help improve the student’s study habits. They can supply tips and techniques on how to study effectively. Tutors can also help students develop a study plan that works for them. This can include setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and managing time effectively. With improved study habits, students can become more efficient and productive.
Ultimately, hiring a private math tutor can lead to better grades. With personalized attention, improved understanding of concepts, and increased confidence, students are more likely to perform well in their math classes.
Tutors can also help students prepare for exams and assignments, leading to higher grades. This can positively impact the student’s academic career and future opportunities.
Hiring a private math tutor can benefit students struggling with the subject. Students can excel in their math classes with personalized attention, an improved understanding of concepts, and increased confidence.
Additionally, tutors can provide flexible schedules, improved study habits, and ultimately lead to better grades. Investing in a private math tutor can be a wise decision for students who want to improve their performance in math.
Boost your math skills and grades with a private math tutor from Prep Academy Tutors! Contact us today to schedule your personalized tutoring sessions and start achieving academic success.
How to Choose the Right Math Tutor for Your Child
Mathematics can be a challenging subject for students of all ages. It is not uncommon for students to struggle with the concepts and skills required to excel in math class.
Hiring a math tutor can be a great way to help your child overcome their difficulties and achieve academic success. However, finding the right math tutor can be a daunting task. This article will give parents some helpful tips for choosing their child’s math tutor.
1. Determine the Child’s Needs
Before hiring a math tutor, it is essential to understand your child’s specific needs. It is important to identify the areas where your child is struggling so the tutor can focus on them.
Some students may require help with basic math concepts, while others may need assistance with more advanced mathematical concepts such as algebra and calculus. Once you have identified your child’s specific needs, you can begin looking for a tutor who has experience teaching those areas.
2. Look for a Qualified Tutor
You must ensure that the math tutor you select is qualified to teach your child. A qualified math tutor should have a degree in mathematics or a related field. They should also have experience teaching math to students of your child’s age group. You can ask for their credentials and references to verify their qualifications.
3. Consider the Tutor’s Teaching Style
Every child learns differently, and it is essential to find a math tutor whose teaching style matches your child’s learning style. Some students may benefit from a more hands-on tutor who uses visual aids to explain mathematical concepts.
On the other hand, some students may prefer a tutor who uses a more structured approach to teaching. When selecting a math tutor, it is essential to discuss their teaching style and determine whether it is a good match for your child.
4. Evaluate the Tutor’s Communication Skills
Effective communication is critical when it comes to tutoring. The math tutor you select should be able to communicate mathematical concepts clearly and concisely. They should be able to adjust their teaching style to match your child’s needs and be patient and supportive.
You can evaluate the tutor’s communication skills by asking them to explain a mathematical concept and assessing whether your child understands it.
5. Look for a Tutor with a Flexible Schedule
Flexibility is crucial when it comes to tutoring. Your child’s academic schedule may change from time to time, and it is essential to find a tutor who can adjust their schedule accordingly.
A tutor with a flexible schedule can accommodate changes in your child’s schedule, which can help ensure that they receive the support they need to succeed in math class.
6. Evaluate the Tutor’s Experience
A tutor with experience teaching math to students of your child’s age group will be better equipped to address your child’s specific needs. You can ask the tutor about their teaching experience and request references from other parents who have hired them in the past.
Choosing the right math tutor for your child can be a challenging task. However, by following the tips outlined in this article, you can find a qualified, experienced tutor whose teaching style matches your child’s learning style. It is important to remember that finding the right tutor may take time and effort, but the benefits of investing in your child’s education are immeasurable.
If you’re looking for reliable math tutoring services, enrol your child here at Prep Academy Tutors! Our experienced and qualified tutors are committed to helping your child succeed in math class. Contact us for personalized in-home and online tutoring services.
10 Telltale Signs Your Child Is Struggling with Math
Mathematics is a core subject in every child’s education, and it is crucial to their academic success and future prospects. However, many students struggle with math and may need extra support to keep up with their peers. As a parent, it is essential to recognize the telltale signs that your child is struggling with math so that you can find the help they need to improve their skills and regain their confidence.
In this article, we will discuss ten indicators that your child may be facing difficulties with math and how to find the best tutoring service to help them excel.
1. Consistently Low Grades
If your child consistently brings home low grades in math, it may be a sign that they are struggling to grasp the concepts taught in class. While occasional low scores can be attributed to a bad day or lack of preparation, consistently poor performance may indicate a deeper issue that requires attention.
2. Difficulty with Basic Operations
Struggling with basic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, is a clear sign that your child may need extra support in math. If they find it challenging to complete simple calculations without assistance, it may be time to find a local tutor to help them build a strong foundation in math.
3. Avoidance of Math-Related Tasks
Does your child avoid math-related tasks, such as completing their math homework, studying for quizzes or tests, or participating in class discussions? This avoidance may be a sign that they are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by their difficulties in math.
4. Lack of Confidence
A lack of confidence in their math abilities can contribute to a child’s struggles with the subject. If your child frequently expresses self-doubt or fear of failure when it comes to math, it may be time to seek the help of an in-home tutor to boost their confidence and improve their skills.
5. Slow Progress
If your child seems to be making slow progress in math compared to their peers, they may be struggling to keep up with the pace of the curriculum. Falling behind can lead to a vicious cycle where the child becomes more and more discouraged and disengaged from the subject.
6. Difficulty with Word Problems
Word problems require a strong understanding of math concepts and the ability to apply those concepts to real-life situations. If your child consistently struggles with solving word problems, it may be a sign that they need additional support in understanding and applying mathematical concepts.
7. Frustration and Anxiety
Feelings of frustration and anxiety can arise when a child is struggling with math. If your child frequently becomes upset or anxious when faced with math-related tasks, it may be time to find a math private tutor to help them overcome these emotional barriers.
8. Reliance on Counting Fingers or Other Objects
While it is normal for young children to rely on counting fingers or other objects to perform basic calculations, older students should be able to complete these tasks mentally. If your child continues to rely on these methods as they progress through school, it may be an indication that they are struggling with their math skills.
9. Difficulty Understanding Mathematical Language
Mathematics has its own unique language, and understanding this language is essential for success in the subject. If your child has trouble understanding or using math terminology, it may be a sign that they need additional support in this area.
10. Poor Test Performance
Even if your child seems to understand math concepts during class or while completing homework, consistently poor test performance may indicate that they are struggling to apply these concepts under pressure. A math tutor can help your child develop better test-taking strategies and improve their overall performance.
Finding the Right Kind of Help
If you recognize any of these telltale signs in your child, it may be time to find a math tutor who can provide the support they need to succeed. There are many options available for finding a tutor, including online tutoring services, tutoring centres, and in-home tutors.
- Online tutoring services allow students to connect with tutors online from the comfort of their own homes and receive support outside of regular school hours.
- Tutoring centres offer a structured learning environment and often provide a range of services, including one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring, and homework help.
- In-home tutors provide personalized support in the comfort of the student’s own home, allowing a more individualized approach to learning.
Recognizing the signs that your child is struggling with math is the first step in helping them succeed academically. By finding the right tutor, you can provide your child with the support they need to improve their math skills, boost their confidence, and achieve their academic goals. With the right support, your child can overcome their difficulties with math and achieve success in their academic and future endeavors.
Are you searching for math tutoring for your child? Look no further than Prep Academy Tutors! Our personalized in-home and online tutoring services are designed to meet the individual needs of your child. With our team of experienced and certified tutors, your child will receive individualized attention and support tailored to their unique needs.
Let us help your child reach their full potential in math! Contact us today and start your child’s journey to math success today!
When to Get a Math Tutor for Your Child: Signs to Look Out For
Mathematics is a crucial subject that is taught right from the early stages of a child’s academic journey. However, not all children can grasp the concepts and excel in math without additional help. Every child learns at their own pace, and some may require extra support to keep up with their peers. This is where the role of a math tutor comes in. In this article, we will discuss some common signs that indicate your child may need a math tutor. Identifying these signs early on can help your child receive the necessary support they need to succeed in math and eventually in other academic areas.
1 – Slipping Grades
One of the most obvious signs that your child may need a math tutor is if their grades start to slip. If your child was previously doing well in math and suddenly starts to receive lower grades or is struggling to keep up with their class, it is a clear indication that they require additional support. A math tutor can help identify the areas where your child is struggling and work with them to improve their understanding of the subject.
2 – Lack of Confidence in Math
Another sign that your child may need a math tutor is if they lack confidence in their ability to do math. If your child expresses frustration or a lack of self-confidence when it comes to math, it may be an indication that they are struggling with the subject. A math tutor can help build your child’s confidence by providing one-on-one support and guidance, helping them understand the concepts they are struggling with, and providing them with the tools they need to succeed.
3 – Difficulty with Basic Math Concepts
If your child is having difficulty with basic math concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, it may be a sign that they need a math tutor. These concepts are the building blocks of math, and if your child is struggling with them, they will likely struggle with more complex math concepts as well. A math tutor can help your child master these fundamental concepts and build a strong foundation for their math skills.
4 – Lack of Interest in Math
If your child lacks interest in math, it may be an indication that they are struggling with the subject. Math can be a challenging subject for many children, and if they are finding it difficult to understand, they may lose interest in it altogether. A math tutor can help make math more engaging and interesting for your child by using fun, interactive teaching methods and helping them see the practical applications of math in everyday life.
5 – Procrastination and Avoidance
If your child is avoiding math homework or procrastinating when it comes to completing math assignments, it may be a sign that they are struggling with the subject. A math tutor can help your child stay on track with their assignments and provide the support they need to complete their work on time. Additionally, a tutor can help your child develop good study habits and time management skills that will benefit them throughout their academic career.
If you notice any of these signs in your child, it may be time to consider hiring a math tutor. A tutor can provide your child with the individualized support and guidance they need to succeed in math and other academic areas. By identifying these signs early on and taking action to address them, you can help set your child up for success both in school and in life.
If you are looking for a math private tutor for your child, please contact Prep Academy Tutors. We are proud to offer personalized in-home and online tutoring services. Find a local tutor today!
5 Things to Look for in a Math Tutor
For thousands of years, mathematics has been central to education. Ever since the Greek philosopher Pythagoras set about trying to discern and codify the underlying scientific laws that govern the universe, mathematics has been an essential tool for understanding the world around us.
For some students, math comes easy — the beautiful symmetry, the unambiguous nature of the answers, and the simple puzzle-solving pleasure that comes from getting a question right make learning fun. For others, even basic arithmetic can cause anxiety.
Even if a student isn’t planning on going into a mathematics-related discipline like engineering, mastering basic math and succeeding in the math curriculum at school can open lots of important doors. Math and numeracy skills can help provide:
- Improved financial literacy
- Greater independence in business accounting and filing taxes
- Improved capacity for everyday tasks like home renovations to calculating exchange rates
- Better problem-solving skills
For these reasons, investing in tutoring that can help students who are struggling with math excel can be essential in helping them overcome obstacles and develop a healthy relationship to math.
But if you want the best results, it is also important to make sure that the tutor you hire has the necessary skills to help your child succeed. If you live in Ontario and you’re looking for a math tutor for the coming year, here are just a few qualities you should look for in potential candidates.
1. Knowledge of the Local Curriculum
If you are hiring a math tutor to help your child improve their math skills, there’s a good chance it is because you want to make sure they can succeed in school and build the kind of transcript that will give them plenty of options when it comes time to graduate.
For that reason, you are probably looking for more than just a candidate who knows math well — you also want someone who can tailor their approach to the particular curriculum your child is using at school.
While it is possible to find tutors online who offer a range of different educational services, when it comes to hiring a math tutor, you should look for someone who:
- Has experience with the Ontario education system and the local math curriculum
- Is able to provide lessons that complement what is being taught in primary or secondary math classes
- Is able to prepare students for upcoming challenges they will face in future modules and grades
At Prep Academy Tutors, we understand how important it is for tutors to work alongside the curriculum a student is learning in school. If you are looking for a math tutor in Kitchener for example, we can make sure to provide someone with the detailed, specific knowledge that can help augment what your child is learning in their regular classes so that when test time rolls around, they are equipped for academic success.
2. Familiarity with Pedagogical Methods
The world has changed significantly since the days when elementary math classes were mostly about memorizing times tables and regurgitating formulas, and a lot of progress has been made in math education in recent years.
Pedagogical experts have broken new ground in figuring out how it is we come to understand abstract mathematical concepts, and how we can master these ideas more easily. These insights are having a huge impact on how math is taught at all levels of school — which is why, when it comes to finding a tutor, you should make sure that the individual you hire has a good working knowledge of the latest teaching methods.
One particularly striking example of this is the way educators prepare students for the jump between more basic mathematical concepts, like arithmetic, and more complex ones, like algebra.
In the past twenty years, researchers have found that the kind of rote teaching that works rather well when teaching addition and subtraction does not actually prepare students for the more sophisticated thinking that algebra, trigonometry, and calculus requires.
This has led to a shift toward dynamic and engaging education methods designed to help students approach math more creatively, and to prepare them for more sophisticated forms of problem solving.
Another example is the massive strides that have been made in understanding how to deal with math anxiety in young learners. If you want tips for beating math anxiety that will actually work, hiring a tutor who understands the psychological and emotional reasons that math anxiety happens in the first place is essential.
3. A Supportive Attitude
A good tutor has to know the curriculum and has to know their subject: but they also need to know how to work with students.
As anyone with teaching experience knows, education is about a lot more than imparting information and developing skills. It also requires a supportive attitude that can help students become more confident and master the study strategies and problem-solving skills that will help them prepare for a life of learning.
One of the frequently-cited benefits of tutoring for elementary school kids is that it helps them learn how to learn, insofar as it helps them develop tactics for dealing with unknown information and the temperament to approach new problems methodically and rationally.
For example, tutors can help young children discover:
- How to learn from mistakes
- How to handle negative emotions that come from difficult material
- Where to go for help (dictionaries, reference works, etc.)
- What resources are available when they are struggling
Adults often take for granted that children have the tools they need to face down the often bewildering learning challenges they face over the course of their primary school years. Not all parents are themselves equipped to guide their kids through the difficulties of these years.
One of the reasons tutoring is so effective is that it helps students build confidence in their own problem-solving skills, so that when they come across something they don’t know, they know how to break the learning task down into manageable pieces and approach it in ways that help them overcome it.
4. A Student-Centered Approach
As parents know very well, every student is different. An approach that works for one kid won’t necessarily work for others, and the learning goals of one child may be very different from those of their neighbour — or even their sibling.
One of the challenges that seems to be baked into modern education systems is that the people staffing them and providing primary services like teaching tend to be people who place a lot of value on higher education and abstract thinking.
This can mean that students who don’t necessarily want to go on to university are given less attention and support than their more academic peers — there are plenty of students who simply need a math education that will help them go about their daily life, and these students deserve just as much attention as the future astronomers do.
A good tutor understands that their role is to help each individual student achieve their potential, even if that simply means helping them achieve sufficient grades to get their diploma so that they can enter a rewarding and valuable career in the trades.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we believe very strongly that no matter what a student’s goals are, they deserve the support and instruction that will help them to realize them. If you want to learn more about our educational philosophy, you can get in touch with us today to find out how our one-on-one service works, and how you can find the tutor who will be right for your child.
According to the latest numbers, Ontario math students are continuing to fall behind in rankings. According to Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office, less than half of Grade 6 students scored above the provincial standard for math in 2017-2018, down from just over half four years earlier.
This alarming trend could have serious repercussions for these students down the road, and while the Ontario government has pledged to do something about the situation, there is no guarantee that a quick fix is available. Parents whose children are currently in the Ontario education system may want to consider alternatives that will ensure their own kids don’t fall behind.
Tutoring has consistently been shown to be one of the most effective tools for improving student performance in mathematics, in part because math tutoring provides the kind of one-on-one help and support that is becoming increasingly rare in Ontario’s under-resourced schools.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we work with well-trained, experience tutors across the province to help you get the best education results possible, so if you want to find out what math tutoring options are available near you, get in touch with us today.
How to Anticipate and Address the Most Common Challenges in Math Learning
Whether you want your child to become an engineer or simply want to make sure they can file their own taxes, ensuring they develop the arithmetical and numeracy skills they need to function in the modern world is essential.
Math undergirds just about everything we do, from calculating how much of a tip to leave a restaurant server to baking a cake or planning the monthly budget, but competency in math is not to be taken for granted: according to MacLean’s, math scores have been steadily falling across Canada, even as the amount of time students spend in math classes has risen.
It is common for children, especially in elementary school, to struggle with math. Many students find it to be counter-intuitive, too abstract, or just plain boring, and many teachers are struggling with inadequate resources and an out-dated curriculum.
So how can you make sure that your children get the support they need to master vital skills like multiplication, division, fractions, and basic equations?
In this post, we’ll talk about how parents can play an active role in helping their kids develop their numeracy skills by anticipating common problems in math learning and addressing them proactively. Understanding the challenges your little one is about to face is a key part of making sure they have the resources they need to overcome them.
While it isn’t your job to teach math, there are things you can do to help the information they are learning in the classroom stick: this can mean that you hire a private math tutor but it can also involve harnessing digital tools to make math learning more comprehensible and fun, and just providing good, old fashioned moral support when they’re struggling.
Understanding fractions is just one of those things that most adults have understood for so long, they don’t even realize they had to learn it. But in fact, as many pedagogues have explained, fractions can be incredibly difficult for elementary students to learn.
But put yourself in the position of your child, who is just learning how the world works, and how the words we use to describe the world — like percent, integer, and fraction — relate to the concrete objects around them. How are they to understand that if you cut an orange in half, they have both half an orange, 0.5 of an orange, 50% of an orange, and ½ of an orange? And that if they cut that half in half, they have both half of a half of an orange, and also a quarter of an orange?
One of the joys of parenting is being confronted with the challenge of explaining all the things that you know and take for granted to your children. But in the case of something like fractions, which is an essential building block without which your kids will simply not be able to acquire new math skills, it can be a bit stressful.
That’s why it is important to take an active role in helping your kids learning fractions. Many of our Montreal math tutors have noticed that when parents make a point of engaging their kids about what they are learning in class at this crucial stage, students are more likely to learn and remember the material.
Fortunately, in the case of fractions, there are plenty of real-world applications you can use to help strengthen your child’s understanding.
For example, asking them to help you in the kitchen is a great way to teach the practical value of measurements, and to give them something concrete to think about when confronted with halves, quarters, and thirds. Or you can use coins and paper money to give them a chance to practice their math skills in a tactile way.
At a time when just about everyone is walking around with a high powered computer in their pocket, do we really need to learn multiplication tables?
This is a question most twenty-first-century math teachers have gotten time and time again. It can be hard to convince elementary students (and even their parents) of the point in learning how to do multiplication on paper given that most smartphones have easy-to-use calculator apps.
But there are two key reasons why learning how to do multiplication (and division) problems in elementary school without the use of a calculator is an essential part of the math curriculum.
First, as our math tutors in Ottawa will tell you, long-form multiplication and division for a foundation for a lot of what will come later. While a calculator app may be able to help you figure out the square footage of a room, it won’t be nearly as handy when it comes time to do advanced equations. Giving students a thorough understanding of how simple problems work makes it a lot easier for them to master harder problems down the road.
In fact, some researchers have argued that one of the reasons U.S. schoolchildren are outperformed in math by other education systems around the world is that the American curriculum does not provide the kind of deep grounding in basic skills that students need to excel at more complex kinds of arithmetic.
Second, it is never a good idea to rely too much on technology. If you can’t do basic addition, subtraction, or multiplication without whipping out your phone, you’re going to be at a huge disadvantage — especially once your battery dies!
For this reason, it is important to encourage your children to see the value in learning how to do the problems, rather than simply finding the solution. While getting the answer write on the test is the end goal, the only reason they’re being tested in the first place is to see whether they understand the process.
Making this kind of learning into a competitive game is one of the most effective ways of getting kids to learn. Drill them on their times tables while you’re driving around, and ask them to solve simple questions throughout the day (for example, if a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of butter, and you’re tripling the recipe, how much butter do you need?).
Normalizing math, and making it a part of everyday life, is one of the most important things you can do to help your kids take it seriously and apply themselves to learning.
Connecting Learning to Real Life
The single greatest challenge an elementary math teacher faces, however, is in resisting the temptation to make the curriculum an end in itself. Young children are curious about the world, and are often obsessed with finding patterns, and the most successful educators are the ones who can harness that raw interest into math learning.
But teachers can’t make these connections on their own, and one of the most important roles a parent can play is in modelling an interest in the value of math. The human brain is designed to take pleasure in solving problems, which is one of the reasons we like games so much. Instead of thinking about math as a chore, find ways to connect it to their real-life experiences.
For example, finding something your child is already passionate about, and then drawing out the mathematical features, is a great way of helping your kids see that math touches everything. If they like to draw, you can find books and youtube videos to teach them about the importance of ratios, scaling, and angles. If they’re interested in sports, use the hockey rink, football field, or soccer pitch to show the importance of fractions.
These exercises won’t just make math more accessible, they will also emphasize its practical value — and perhaps more importantly, show them that a command of math can help them accomplish things in areas they already care about.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we have made it part of our mission to work with educators who are passionate about their subjects and who use modern pedagogical tools and methods to pass that passion on to their students.
If you are in Ontario, Quebec, or Alberta get in touch with us to find out more about our tutoring services — we even have math tutors in Calgary who can help your kids work with the local curriculum to engage elementary and secondary students in the joys and pleasures of math.
In an era of high technology, where new jobs are being created every year in engineering, programming, math, and science, equipping your children with the tools they need to master their math curriculum is one of the best ways to set them up for sustainable and rewarding careers.
Call Prep Academy Tutors today to find out how we can help your children develop a love of math.
3 Strategies for Beating Math Anxiety
The new school year is now well under way, and as the excitement of new classrooms and new teachers settles into a predictable routine, patterns of preference start to emerge. Kids will gravitate to some classes over others, and you might even find that your children are developing strong antipathies to one of their subjects. In a surprising number of cases, that subject will be math — so much so that the term math anxiety has been coined to describe this experience.
One of the most common reasons families reach out to us to find a math tutor in Toronto is because they have a child who is struggling in math. While it is normal for students to be challenged by new material — especially at the beginning of the school year — in some cases, the problem transcends the normal difficulties involved in mastering new concepts and formulae.
In these cases, what can seem like normal struggles and frustrations can actually be math anxiety, something that requires special attention and a strategic, science-based approach.
What is Math Anxiety?
Math anxiety is a widely observed phenomenon in which students develop negative emotional reactions to math and math-related tasks. This can manifest in a range of different ways: as a frustration with arithmetic and avoidance of tasks that require it, a general sense of tension, and even as bursts of anger and rage on the part of children suffering from this issue when confronted with math problems.
In some cases, these reactions can be debilitating, making it extremely difficult for students to complete even ordinary mathematical problems in their everyday lives. Given how central mathematics is to success in primary and secondary school, undiagnosed and untreated math anxiety can stunt academic development and cause a range of other behaviour problems.
But the good news, if you have a child who is suffering from math anxiety, is that there are ways of overcoming this challenge. In this post, we will outline some of the strategies you can use to deal with math anxiety head on.
While there are many approaches that can help you deal with the symptoms of math anxiety, if you really want your child to regain their academic confidence and master the material that is before them, it is a good idea to find a tutor in Toronto who can help — tutoring has been shown to play a significant role in boosting confidence and helping students with particular struggles get the tools they need to succeed.
Though the following steps can be helpful to anyone if implemented properly, expert tutoring will speed up the process and help you avoid common errors, guaranteeing that your child’s math anxiety will be a thing of the past.
1. Understand the Problem
As with many learning challenges young children face, the first step to developing an effective strategy for dealing with the problem is understanding why it exists in the first place. The tragic reality is that, while one UK study indicated that as many as one in twenty children may suffer from math anxiety, it is often dismissed as laziness, immaturity, or chalked up as being the result of other behavioural issues.
While great strides have been made in recent years to de-stigmatize learning disabilities and normalize the struggles of those who deal with them, the truth is that many children are still told that they simply need to push through the difficulties they face. Unfortunately, when confronting something like math anxiety, this is simply ineffective, and can even exacerbate the problem.
Similarly, it does no good to be fatalistic about the problem. Ability to understand math is not an innate characteristic, and nor is it a gendered one: while some people may find that mathematical thinking comes easier to them, all children should be able to learn the arithmetic required to succeed in elementary and secondary school. If they are struggling to overcome their fear of the subject, what is required is a practical approach rooted in building skills and confidence.
In order to deal with math anxiety effectively, teachers and families need to be able to talk about the problem not as a lack of will or something that can be dealt with through hard work, but as a unique problem that requires solutions based in science.
As many of our math tutors in Mississauga and other Ontario cities know first hand, it is possible to make progress on math anxiety if the right supports are in place. But before you can start exploring solutions for this kind of problem, you first need to recognize the nature of the problem itself.
2. Break Down the Material Into Manageable Pieces
Tutors who work with students who struggle with math often note that math anxiety rarely appears out of nowhere. What typically happens is that a student starts to fall behind their peers; this can happen for a number of different reasons, and usually isn’t the individual’s fault.
But because math is a progressive discipline, where sophisticated concepts build off of more elementary ones, when students fall far enough behind they simply cannot understand what is being taught to them. This leads them to believe they just cannot understand math, period.
The most effective way to deal with this is to go back to basics, and start with what they can understand. By slowly helping them tackle material that they are comfortable, with, they can gain the confidence and basic skills necessary to work their way back up to where they are in the curriculum.
This approach relies on children having access to strong educational support, however, and one of the reasons math anxiety continues to be such a prominent issue in countries like Canada is because the education system often lacks the resources it needs to provide the dedicated one-on-one attention struggling kids need to face their fears head on and catch up with the rest of their class.
In order to make real progress, children need to have the time to learn the material at their own speed and in a way that is tailored toward their particular challenges. For this reason, parents should find ways to create a supportive environment where students can undercut the overwhelming anxiety they face when dealing with math problems by breaking the curriculum down into manageable pieces.
3. Practice Regularly
If you have ever had to deal with a learning task that at first seemed completely insurmountable, you will be familiar with the way that something anxiety-inducing and scary becomes more manageable once you have actually started on the work.
The hardest part of confronting new material is always the beginning, and this is when anxiety tends to be most acute. Once you have made some headway, it is easier to come back and pick up where you left off. The problem is that if you leave the task for too long, that anxiety will start to creep back in, making it harder and harder to pick up again.
For this reason, if you really want your child to beat math anxiety, you will need to make regular math practice part of their life. The more frequently a student confronts math, the easier it will be next to — so long as this confrontation is happening in a supportive space with manageable problems.
One of the reasons why tutoring can be so effective in helping children overcome math anxiety is because it routinizes practice and makes it normal. For this reason, it is a good idea to find a tutor near you who can do regular house visits. Not only will this make math prep a regular part of your child’s schedule, having a tutor visit your home means your child will be confronting the subject in a safe and comfortable environment.
Overcoming math anxiety is about a lot more than just learning to do arithmetic. It is also about building confidence, and developing problem solving skills that can be applied to much more than just mathematics.
If you can help your kids face down their fears and frustrations with math, you will be teaching them a valuable lesson they will be able to use for the rest of their lives: that no problem is so big that it can’t be handled if approaches strategically and with the right help.
Over the years, our tutors have helped many children overcome their deep-seated math anxiety to flourish academically. If you are concerned that your child’s struggles with math go beyond the ordinary, then get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today to find Toronto math tutors who can provide one-on-one attention and personalized support.