Building confidence in maths is crucial for your child to develop their skills. The overwhelming response I get from parents when I ask them what is it their child is struggling with in maths is…
“My child is very frustrated!”
“My child doesn’t have the confidence…”
What is the reason for this?
I’ll tell you…
The education system does not allow for enough time for your child to work at their own pace.
Too often I hear that a child does not use physical materials any more.
When I ask teachers why they don’t use physical materials anymore they say…
“I don’t have the time to do that.”
My response is – you don’t have time not to do that!
How do physical materials help?
Using physical materials is proven to create a strong visual in the mind to ensure a new concept is understood. The brain uses more visual cues to commit a new concept to memory and to understand it. Without this you will not be able to apply the learning to other concepts. Check out my Facebook page – Teach My Child – where you will see children using physical materials at all ages!
When adding and subtracting in maths it is very common for children to get things wrong. You may think that this is because the child is finding the concept of addition and subtraction difficult. When you look a little deeper it is often the case that something has been missed earlier on when learning about the place value of numbers.
For example if a child is adding 34 and 23 and give you an answer of 66 you may well wonder what they have done. On talking to the child it turns out that they actually did 34 + 32 because the child was not secure enough with their understanding of place value. They did not secure the learning about the order of the digits in a 2 digit number and read 23 as 32. Had the child spent time using physical materials to show that 32 is 3 tens and 2 ones and that 23 is 2 tens and 3 ones they would not have made this mistake. These sorts of mistakes can be very easily fixed by using physical materials at every stage. However when they occur they do undermine confidence. Building confidence in maths is crucial as it can often feel like a foreign language!