The original version of this article was originally published on Magical Educator.

Maths as we all know is one of the most dreaded subjects out there. Bringing your child or your student to sit down and revise it can often be a great challenge. The thing is though Maths really isn’t that hard. With the correct methods and a small amount of effort, you can become a Maths-Whizz in no time.

No calculators (at least for now)

Nowadays there are exams specifically for calculator use and exams that ban calculator use. There are uses to calculators but they should never replace the old fashioned methods. From a young age if a child completes as much maths as possible without the use of a calculator it puts them in better stead for future understanding of both calculator and non-calculator papers.

Completing mental arithmetic at a young age can be the most valuable asset to a child’s mathematical academic journey. It creates a solid base to build on later and one of the main reasons that it helps so much is that when calculating a quick addition sum in their heads or on paper, a child automatically then calculates the opposite subtraction calculation to double-check their work. Whereas when using a calculator the answer provided is just accepted as correct and the child has made no effort to understand the inner workings of the calculation. 

Practice daily

Consider how you learn a new skill such as learning a new language or playing a musical instrument; you rely on strong focus and regular practice to develop your ability and acquire that skill and knowledge. Therefore, it should be no surprise that students who harness the power of practice can achieve similar success in academics when they apply that same principle.

The idea of practicing a little amount very often keeps the brain active and embeds topics into the memory and understanding due to the repetition. Whereas when a child revises a topic that they have not looked at in a while they often have to relearn the methods and remind themselves how to do the calculations. 

Refresh your mind with old topics, and build on them

Similar to the above point it is a great idea to build topics and ideas on top of each other when learning, this constantly reminds a child of previous topics. 

Often when in school and studying Maths, once a child has finished one topic and moved onto the next, the previous topic is out of their mind, and after not thinking about it for a while, it is easily forgotten. By building ideas on top of each other and constantly refreshing the mind with what it has learned so far.  

Give it a go before asking for help

Some student’s automatic reaction is to ask for help immediately. This is no bad thing and asking for help is a great habit to get into. Often though the student is perfectly capable of answering the questions themselves but they feel they need reassurance from their teacher. 

When a child asks for help, ask them to first see what they would do, a lot of the time they can get it on their own. This will then build their confidence and in the future, they will be able to complete tasks on their own. 

Say it out loud

Sometimes the numbers are arranged in a new way and the situation looks so unfamiliar that it is hard to see where to start. Talking through the problem helped me understand what the issues were and then it was easier to work around solving them. This is rarely told to math students because math is not associated with words, but for some, especially for people who are more word-oriented, this can be golden. 

Using these tips should not only turn your child into a Maths-Whizz but build their confidence in the subject to then transfer to other subjects and once they become confident in the subject they will stop dreading it. Who knows maybe they will go so far as to enjoy it. 

The best way to get your child to start enjoying Maths is to get a really good tutor who will inspire your child and turn boring lessons into a fun activity-filled session. Find an online tutor in no time with Sherpa. If you are looking for a qualified teacher who is guaranteed to improve grades and create fun useful sessions outside of a school environment then Sherpa is the place to go. 

The original version of this article was originally published on Magical Educator.

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