Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

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Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby My Learning Blocks » Wed May 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Hi all, I'm a newbie at KSP and am still coping with the uses and functions here... I'm still figuring out how I can reply to a specific person by quoting their response in mine... Anyone who can help? Please don't mind if I make any mistakes in my reply! ;D

Let me start off with a self-introduction. I'm a full time educator, specialised in tutoring students who lack interest and are struggling with Maths to rediscover their interest and confidence in Maths.

Years of experience coaching students who are struggling with this subject has made me strongly believe that the way to Math mastery is to first build a strong Math foundation. With missing packets of Math knowledge or gaps in understanding, it is akin to a wall with missing bricks here and there - getting more unstable as new bricks are piled atop. This was also the main reason why I created My Learning Blocks, a place where students can bridge the missing gaps in their Math understanding and build a strong Math foundation. It's my hope to reach out to more students who are struggling with the subject so that the problem can be rectified in the early stages. Should anyone be interested in finding out more, please feel free to find out more about how I teach, what students/parents are saying and download free Maths practices for your child at www.mylearningblocks.com!

As I always have had my student's parents asking me how they can help their child, I thought it will be a good idea if I can start a forum thread on these issues and tips so that more parents (and students) can benefit! If any mums and dads here come across any problems, do share it with the rest of us here and we can discuss it together to find a solution!

Here's wishing your child all the best in their exams and I hope this discussion thread would be of help to all of you! Let's make learning fun for our children together!

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby My Learning Blocks » Wed May 06, 2015 9:33 pm

Effective Goal Setting with your child

Me: 80
Student: Nooo..... 70
Me: Fine.. 78 then
Student: Erm...72?
Me: OKAY, LAST ONE! 75!
Student: Okayy... (reluctantly)


Does this reminds you of a scene at the wet market? (Laughs) That's exactly what I'm reminded of every semester when I'm helping my students do goal-setting for their respective subjects. Having done goal-setting ever so frequently with all my students year after year, here are some useful tips I have gathered to help your child achieve those goals this semester!


Share common goals

The opening excerpt may sound comical, but it is truly more effective when you set goals WITH your child than FOR your child.

When a consensus between you and your child regarding goals is not established, these 'goals' would only be perceived as orders that are supposed to be complied with, fuelled by stress and pressure rather than intrinsic motivation.

A better alternative to pushing your child with stress would be to encourage responsibility and commitment to the achievement of goals by involving the child in every step of the goal-setting process. Take time out to communicate your expectations for them and have an open discussion on the target score to achieve. You'd be surprised by how much more you'll discover about your child's learning and feelings towards the different subjects and how much more receptive your child will be to the goals set together.


Communication and Understanding

Why did your child object to the target score you've just proposed? Is it because it is too high? What would be a reasonable score in their opinion? Proper communication and a more complete understanding should be the foundation to set a challenging but achievable goal together.

Ask them, involve them and show that you care about them as well, and not just their academic achievements. At times, some explanations to justify the attainability of the goals are necessary to give your child that boost of confidence that they might lack. The point of communication ultimately boils down to gifting both child and parents a clearer picture from the shoes of the other's party.

The understanding part would then be towards your child's current progress academically and their psychological well-being (such as stress and confidence aspects). Academic-wise, mini class tests and homework should give a gauge of how well your child is coping; likewise, updates from school teachers (especially at parent-teacher meetings) or communicating with tutors would shed a clearer light on the progress as well as difficulties faced by your child. Psychological-wise, pep talks and family bonding time are pivotal to your child's emotional development as well as bridging an emotional understanding.


Rewarding the effort

Rewards are also helpful in giving your child that little extra push to keep them going and showing that you appreciate the extra effort put in. Deciding the suitable 'carrot' to use requires some consideration as it should be effective and ideally beneficial for the development of your child.

Needless to say, the reward has to be enticing to appeal and motivate. However, an attractive reward does not have to equate to an expensive one, like the latest gadgets or material rewards (pockets don't have to be burnt!); it could be activities that your child would enjoy as well as learn from, such as an additional hour of play time (or to do activities like swimming) during the holidays, excursions to the zoo or other recreational places, or even a short holiday to unwind. Such activities would also allow more family bonding time and fun, making it a double win!

A note of caution though is that rewards should not take centre stage for motivating children as this might encourage conditional learning (i.e. perform only when rewards are at stake). Instead, communicate with your child to ensure that they understand that the rewards is to congratulate them and is in appreciation of a job well done.


'Trick or Treat' Rewards

Have a tricky situation on hand? Try this 'trick or treat' reward system which has two sides to it, one of which is simply rewarding as covered above, whereas the flip side addresses what happens when your child does not meet the goal. This is especially useful to open the grounds for discussion for an overboard or flippant reward requested by your child, and to get your child to engage in the goal setting process more thoughtfully.

Here's a real life example with one of my students:

After our goal-setting, we discussed about possible rewards, and so she asked if she could have anything she wanted and jokingly requested for an iPhone. I replied "Okay." and her eyes widened, having not expected such a response.

Seeing her expression, I continued on, "BUT! I have a condition. If you meet the goal, I'll get you the iPhone. BUT, if you don't meet the goal, you will get me an iPhone instead. Deal?"


I could see her eyes widen even further after hearing it. In the end, we reviewed the goals together (at her request, and it seems she did not put in much thought when we were discussing the goals earlier) and at the same time, we managed to settle for a much more affordable reward - chocolates.

I coined the term "trick or treat'' reward system in view of the use of both a reward and a reverse-reward, such as the reverse gifting of iPhone by the student from the example above, or if your child has asked for less homework, he would get more homework if he fail to attain the goals, and similarly for other rewards. This ensures that the goals and rewards set would be treated seriously and also serves to drive them to thrive to achieve in order to avoid the 'tricky reverse reward'.


http://mylearningblocks.com/what-s-new/ ... your-child

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby My Learning Blocks » Thu May 07, 2015 10:58 pm

Dear all, as exams are fast approaching, I've consolidated some essential questions for the coming exam into review assessments to help your child revise the fundamental concepts of Maths.

Please download the P5/P6 review assessments and the answers here.

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby My Learning Blocks » Mon May 11, 2015 11:21 am

A fun quiz to help chase away the monday blues~ :imcool: :dancing:

4 X 4 = 61
5 X 5 = 52
7 X 7 = 94
9 X 9 = ???

Can you solve it within 10 sec? :smile:

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby Curioussquirrel » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:09 pm

What drives human life flourishing is curiosity. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. Children are natural learners. It's a real achievement to put that particular ability out, or to stifle it. Curiosity is the engine of achievement.

Do something that create curiosity for them. Remember, the tips by other parents does not work for your kids and it will never be. Reason is simple: Are you able to find any similarities btw 2 kids. I bet you they are completely different from each other.

Look at your kid. Ask yourself why doesn't he has any interest in math? Keep asking yourself whys and I am sure you are able to come out with something interesting for your kids.

Our education failed in delivering this, we ( u and me) are being taught in school to tick the correct boxes rather than exploring. I don't think you would want your kids to be taught this way.

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby winwater » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:15 pm

really easy.
apps for math
with loud audio for congratulations for completing each chapter/page etc

kids really dig those.

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby Kai88 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:20 pm

^ Do not Agree. :sweat:
If my boy isn't interested in National Service, must use something to attract him? No.
It's just compulsory like PSLE. They should grow up and understand it themselves.

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby mom_young » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:40 pm

games! i always believe in learning through the fun way and not tuition which totally kills the fun and interest of the children. especially math. even though Singapore kids are known to be good in that, but the fundamentals are always lacking and parents just send their kids for preschool preparatory course, tuition, etc.

one very good math board game which I would encourage is Genius Mathematics. It's not just any ordinary math board game cause it teachers values and the right attitude as well. i've suggested to many of my colleagues and their child's math really improved. my child too, that's why i promoted it to them.

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Re: Child no interest in Maths? : Primary Maths tips

Postby mceducation1 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:56 am

Making Math Comes Alive!!

A lot of children (including some Parents) have the misconception that Mathematics is just one of those subjects that kills!

Children are often left dumb-founded by the seeming enormous Mathematical tasks given by teachers n in schools.

The truth is that if we can help our children learn to appreciate that Mathematics is anywhere and everywhere... Life will be a lot easier n filled with truckloads of fun!

Do you know that getting young children to help set the dinner table is part of mathematics too? It is One-to-One Matching comes alive!

How about the number of MRT stations there are along the North-South Line, East-West Line, Downtown Line and more... can be turned into Mathematics questions!

Instead of staring at our smartphones while we are travelling in the trains, we can engage our children in predicting how many more stations to go and how long more it takes... What if we take the bus, which are the buses we can take and what is the time difference between taking a bus n a MRT to reach a particular destination? When our children's senses are 'awaken' to the Mathematics around us... before long... they will be setting Mathematics questions for you, their siblings and their friends!

There are lots of Open Access to Mathematics Brain Teasers, Puzzles, Riddles and fun stuffs related to Mathematics out there! The resources available are almost unlimited! All we need to do is to spend some time scouting for them! Go for it and you will enjoy!

Be creative in your own ways to encourage your children n enjoy learning Mathematics together with your children!

Happy Day Ahead!

Cheers,
Michelle Choo
Mathematics Educator
(27 years of Mathematics Education)

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