Maths is Fun – Approach and Programme

MY APPROACH

I take an innovative, fun, interactive and low stress approach which is perfect for teaching maths to primary school children. Many children around the world struggle with maths and lots of them have a negative attitude towards maths, even at a young age. I offer:

OBJECTIVES AND AIMS

Based on my experience with working with young children in the after school space and research from my PhD, my primary objective is to work on the bigger picture with the children. I work alongside them to improve their understanding of and attitudes towards maths. I do not prep students for specific exams or tests. But, this approach will help them to cope with exams and tests by giving them access to different ways of thinking about maths.

A key aim is to help children to make sense of maths first and foremost – I don’t drill, or offer repetitive memorisation exercises. I approach learning key maths concepts through an informal, fun environment. I use simple games and resources (that are readily available and inexpensive), puzzles and other activities that focus on sense making (backed by research). These resources help the child to engage with the maths, make sense of it, practice it and use it.

My other aims are to help the child become more confident, resilient and to keep trying. This develops into a more positive growth mindset towards maths which spills over into other subjects – an “I can do this” type of attitude. This approach also develops important executive functioning skills in children (such as working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility).

WORKING WITH PARENTS AND FAMILIES

I work on a one-to-one basis with a child but will also take two to three children of the same age as a group, or siblings that are close together in age.

I also offer sessions where I work with both the children and parents (carers, guardians) as a team (if the parents would like to take this approach) to help parents understand how they can help their child at home with maths, even if they aren’t confident maths people themselves.

Research shows that parents are often reluctant to focus on mathematical development with their children. There could be many reasons for this but a main one is that parents don’t feel as comfortable with teaching maths, as they do with reading. When parents stress about their own maths abilities, their children can develop negative feelings towards the subject. This has a knock-on effect as children who feel anxious about maths are also less likely to engage in the classroom and will avoid tough mathematical tasks.

I will provide a booklet giving ideas for bringing maths into the home.

HOW MANY SESSIONS DO WE NEED AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME?

With this approach, it is best to consider between at least 6 and 12 sessions and more if possible. If I run a single session, it will be focused on games that the children can continue to play at home.

Depending on the number of children and parents (carers, guardians) in the session, the session will last between 60 and 75 minutes. Click here to see pricing options and discounts.

I prefer to work in person with children, but I could do online work with parents if necessary. Sessions can take place at your home, my home office or a local venue, like a library or school.

MORE ABOUT THE TUTORING PROGRAMME

My programme will also include a “Pay-it-forward” element where the child I tutor is asked to talk about or teach someone at home something they have learnt in the session. In this way, the child is talking about maths (making sense of it in their own minds), and sharing the fun they have in the session.

If the child does more than two sessions with me, they will be provided with a small kit to use at home, so that they can practice engaging with the activities outside of the sessions.

In my first session with the child I will ascertain “where they are with there maths”, not where they should be. For example, I may be tutoring a child in Year Three and would expect that child to be at Year Three level. However, the child may well have gaps in their foundational knowledge and those must be filled in order for the child to progress further. Having said that, I stress that I am NOT a remedial tutor.

Click here for pricing.

A BIT ABOUT ME

Education and learning are important to me in all their forms – formal and informal. I am passionate about encouraging people, particularly children to learn new skills and knowledge, to think for themselves, to understand so that they can grow, be independent, make their own choices and decisions and be empowered.  

I have a PhD in Primary Maths Education and experience with working with primary in-service teachers, children and their families in and outside of the classroom space. My doctoral study focused on after school clubs, and I ran after-school maths clubs with children aged 6 to 11. In my work with the children in the maths clubs, privately and in schools, I focus primarily on two things: building their confidence in being about to do mathematics and changing negative mindsets about maths.

I have also worked with after school care centre personnel to help them run clubs and Family Maths events as part of the their after-school programmes.

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