Many of us might have experienced the trauma that our kids go through trying to learn math, to the extent that they start to hate it! Most of us at some stage shunned math because we did not understand it. Fortunately, this need not happen nowadays.
A child usually performs well in math in the earlier grades. When he is in Year 5, he starts to find math not so cool first grade go math. He would often come home with homework that would require parents’ assistance. Parents are finding it harder and harder to help as the ways that children are taught are different from the ways they were taught. Schools teach differently nowadays, as methodologies have changed over the years. This does not help the child who has to face the teacher the next day.
The reason why children do not understand math is because of gaps in their learning. For example, lessons might have not been fully understood. As time pass, math becomes more and more confusing; because the knowledge gained is not enough to sustain further understanding.
How can this be remedied? The solution is to go back and relearn the lessons. There are many ways to help a child. One of them is tutoring. A tutor discovers the strengths and weaknesses of the student by testing him on various topics. He schedules a study plan to cover the problem areas by going back to the basics, and slowly work his way up to the class level.
Private tutoring can be expensive though; especially, if the student has lagged too far behind. An alternative could be learning centers. Some of those centers specialize in both math and English and operate after school hours. They are reasonably priced and they do a good job. Their strength lies in the amount of repetitive worksheets they give the student on a continuous basis, that help consolidate knowledge gained. The only downside is the chore of driving the kids to and from the centers. For those who prefer, there are online courses that can deliver the same results. The added advantage is that parents can learn concepts and lessons — or at least understand them enough — to be able to get more involved with their children education anytime that suits them.
A study program needs to be laid out which would cover the areas that need addressing first. They can then progressively apply the knowledge gained to other related areas of math. Students might understand some concepts better than others. It is best to start with what they understand first, and consolidate their knowledge in those areas in order to build confidence. Once they feel comfortable, to slowly progress to more advance lessons, until all the topics are fully mastered. Then, proceed to the next topic and repeat the process. Slowly the student will start to understand math facts that were never understood, and would be more and more motivated to learn. It gets easier and easier as the knowledge gaps are slowly filled.
The curriculum could take anywhere between six to nine months, depending on the amount of help needed, as it varies from child to child. Experience has proven that within five to six months after starting a revision program, students not only understand math better, but are among the top performers in class.