Home Tutoring Method and Case Study
Feb 19, 2017 Tutoring/Home School 994 Views
Last year my son, in preparing for a science degree, realised that if he was to achieve his goal, he would need to be reasonably proficient at maths. After a brief attempt to brush up on the recommended syllabus for the university course of his choice, he downed tools, lamenting loudly that he would never be able to do this because “I am just no good at maths”.
Now, as a teenager, I remember struggling with maths throughout high school. These days however, at the tender age of 50, I consider myself mathematically proficient. So, what happened to me between high school and adulthood that resulted in my transformation from maths recalcitrant to someone who is not rendered paralysed and sweaty by anything more complicated than two plus two? Has the passage of time increased my intelligence?
Sadly, I am no more intelligent now than I was in high school. My attitude towards learning, however, has changed. Somewhere along the line, as I worked through my bachelor degree, I realised that labelling myself “no good at maths” wasn’t helpful. It was better to simply give myself the time I needed to learn in a way that suited me specifically. In fact, I have found that the phrase “no good at maths” is often uttered by those who prove to be more than capable of learning maths when taught correctly, at their own pace. Though the effort of mainstream teachers is to be praised, large group, one size fits all education does not suit some students. For some, a more tailored approach, such as private tutors, can be what is needed.
Getting back to my son, when I assessed his standard, he was indeed not great. We immediately embarked on a mission to teach him maths in a way that he could follow, at a speed he could handle. I am happy to report it worked. Where, just months before, he struggled to calculate change in a shop, now he can manage quadratic equations, trigonometry and calculus quite well. Now he says he is good at maths!
The take home message is that humans, especially younger ones, can learn just about anything given the right approach and enough time. Teach your kids this important message, provide them with education resources that fit them specifically, then stand back and watch them enjoy life with more freedom be what they want to be.
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