Having been approached by many parents asking me to help their children I’ve come up with this post to share our top advice on how to approach Math at Primary and Secondary level (and even studying in general).
Happy new year to you and hope you have a good celebration. Hope you had a good break too.
I have decided to create this post after I had been approached by many parents asking me to help their children.
(In addition, I have also created a Facebook page for you to post your questions or to receive more “out of the box” learning tips.
Regardless of the students’ academic level (Primary or Secondary), those who don’t do well in Math are making their parents very worried and stressed up.
1. Filling in the gaps
It’s fortunate that only 1.5 months have passed and there is only so much content that the teacher had covered. Perhaps it may be only two to three topics. So the good thing is that there’s still time to catch up. To catch up, one must know what content has been lost (not understood) and where these gaps are.
Failure to catch up and find out what gaps to fill will create a snowball effect. For those students who are still not passing their class tests are most probably those whose foundation is still very weak with lots of gaps unfilled.
So work with your child to find out what he doesn’t know or understand. Then work with him on building up his concepts so that he has a stronger foundation when the newer topics are taught in the future.
2. Finding out from your child if he likes Math
Pose a question to your child during one of the most unexpected moments (perhaps lunch time or just before bed time) and ask him if he likes Math. Listen to his non-verbal (body language). If he says “Yes” but his body language tells you otherwise, you know that he isn’t telling you the whole truth. For example, he says “Yes” but his face looks indifferent or he frowns while saying it or he gave a shrug before hesistating to say “Yes”.
In reality, most parents fail to understand their children’s non-verbal and take what they say as the truth. If your child is not enjoying Math, dislike Math or even hate Math, whatever money you are spending on your child’s tuiton and enrichment may not be wisely spent.
Let’s take an example. Will we be able to do something well if we hate or dislike it? In the office environment, when our employer demands us to do something we dislike (like presenting the department’s performance to all the staff), we curse and swear but we still do it, but do it half-heartedly.
Similarly, your child, if he dislikes Math, will do half-heartedly too. So for every hour of the tuition, he is not paying attention for at least 30 minutes while the tutor continues to teach, thinking he is there.
So my suggestion is to work on his interest first and find ways to connect it to Math. If there is no connection, lots of time is wasted. So start finding the connection now.
3. Focus on your child’s strength
Every child is unique and possesses a special capability and your child has this too. Past studies and success stories have shown that children who really enjoy studying (not forced) can do very, very well. They are not the talented or the so-called gifted kids. They just take a different “out of the box” approach to study more effectively.
We are fortunate to have worked with this group of children and among them, this effective approach has been proven to work again and again, regardless of their grade. It doesn’t really matter if he is now scoring only 1 mark or 10 mark or 40 marks.
In this approach, what you can do is to find out what your child likes and associate it to studies. For example, one student of mine likes playing football. So we link Math to football and this has helped him to understand that doing well in Math needs 3 sports attributes: consistent practice, a positive attitude and an open mind.
Once again, this P6 boy, who used to score 39/100 (it’s a fail grade) for his P5 Prelim Exam, did well for his first P6 class test. After 7 lessons, he scored full marks for the first time and he refused to allow me to tell his mom. He wanted to tell her personally so that he could surprise her.
If you are wondering how your child can perform better like this boy, drop me an email using our contact form.
It doesn’t matter whether your child is in Primary or Secondary school now. If your child is struggling in Primary school, let this be a chance for him to start working towards beter grades for his PSLE. If your child is in Secondary school, let this be the start to work towards a better grade for his O-level.
The study strategies we use work well for all children and they can be so motivated that they even use these strategies in Junior Colleges and Universities.
So do contact us and we look forward to hear from you.
Alternatively, you can post your question at