Math is probably one of the subjects that students get scared of. Math is difficult but can be learned, and the anxiety that comes with learning math is really needless. This anxiety has to be overcome in order for a student to focus on learning and improving on his math skills, and the tutor needs to help the student through it. But there is no need to delay tutoring in math just because a student is afraid of the subject.
The first thing you should do is to assess the student’s math ability. This is where tutoring should begin. In math, you need first to learn the basics before going into more complex items, for example, learn simple fractions first then how to reduce or simplify fractions.
It is important for the tutor to teach the student how to appreciate alignment to improve his math skills. There is a visual element in math, and this helps a lot in problem solving without the use of a calculator. Simplifying fractions without using a calculator is made easier by writing them down in orderly alignment on paper. The importance of aligning numbers properly is especially true of adding and multiplying numbers. It takes a small amount of discipline to line up numbers in their proper columns, but it helps a great deal in addition and multiplication.
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Here are some activities to use in your tutorials in order to help your student improve his math skills.
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It has been found to be helpful for a student who struggles in math to use paper that is not lined, or simply a blank sheet of white paper. Lined paper has been found to cause some distractions on the student’s eye focus, because he sees the lines instead of just numbers. You need to remove anything that can make your student lose his entire focus on the numbers on the paper.
Colored pens are helpful as aids to memorize step-by-step processes involved in math solutions. Use a different colored pen for every step that the process takes, using a colored pen for one step, and another for another step. This color-guided step-by-step process will help your student in appreciating how solutions are come up with.
After you have finished showing your student how the problem was solved, it’s time to let him do it by himself. It would be helpful for him also to use the same color changes with every step. Solving math problems is often a very slow repetitive step-by-step process.
Lastly, it is important to focus on one skill at a time, do simple interest loans and GPA one day, and fractions on another day. Gaining confidence in his ability to solve math problems will definitely help him improve his math skills in due time.