Jun 13

Mathematical Building Blocks

Although it’s completely true that young children develop at very different rates, there are some skills that every student needs to learn quite early in their education. Basic numeracy is probably the best example. Some kids take to arithmetic like ducks to water and others need a helping hand to get started, but it’s vitally important that no child is allowed to fall too far behind their classmates in maths.

Getting the foundations right

As a subject, maths is very sequential. One topic builds upon another. If you can’t add up and multiply, it will be very hard to understand fractions. If you miss out on fractions, learning to use and calculate percentages is difficult. In English, for example, it’s possible to learn the finer points of grammar without being able to dissect a poem. A child might be perfectly happy to sit down with a Harry Potter novel even though they might not understand some of the harder words, but in maths you need all of the building blocks to be in place before moving on to the next topic in the syllabus.

Assistance is never far away even if parents aren’t 100% confident in their own mathematical abilities. Maths tutors can replace any of those important building blocks if they happen to be missing or a little on the weak side, leaving a pupil with a strong foundation for the next topic that comes up in class.

Problem solving skills

Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Perhaps the most valuable thing private tuition can do for a student of any age is to give them a set of problem solving skills. If your child comes across an unfamiliar mathematical problem, the time they have spent with a properly qualified and experienced tutor will stand them in good stead. They’ll have a strategy and understand how to break any exam or homework question down into manageable parts, work through each one, and make their way towards an answer step by step.

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Tackling the tricky parts together

Let’s face it. Maths is complicated. There are plenty of adults who never really got to grips with long division, matrix algebra, or the much-dreaded calculus. Anyone can stumble over a particular topic and all too often this leads to a dramatic loss in confidence. Struggling with a single mathematical theme doesn’t mean that you’re bad at maths but all too often, this is the message that kids get and it can be very hard to change their minds.

Good maths tuition builds up confidence as well as the more direct skills students need to excel in maths. We try very hard never to let a pupil believe that they are naturally bad at maths or they ‘just can’t do it’. With the right guidance and the right teaching techniques, anyone can learn to solve maths problems. That goes for the integration and derivation problems that come out of the calculus syllabus as well as basic arithmetic and introductory algebra.