What's new about math?

Math has been studied for thousands of years, so what's new?
Why are kids struggling with math?

The big change is that we are now trying to make everyone understand mathematics, instead of just the students who take to it easily. Although math has been around for so long, math teaching was pitched to the lucky few who were succeeding.

So teachers are now looking for new ways to make math more engaging to learn. As you have no doubt seen in the newspapers, there is widespread concern that kids are going up into high school without the math skills they need. This can severely restrict their career options, if they do continue to struggle.

There is a wide-spread belief that primary kids don't need to finish the primary syllabus, if they are finding math a bit hard. But any problem in primary really needs to be nipped in the bud.  Otherwise, consistent failure is likely to produce an attitude problem in secondary school. Attitude is very hard to change.  I am a firm believer in starting help young, before lack of self-esteem kicks in and produces a troubled teenager

Nothing in primary school math is hard to understand, if given the right help. Unfortunately, in school today, the number of hours of formal math teaching has gone down, sacrificed to other activities. So students who slip behind, may go unnoticed.

Also, parents may be quite unaware that their child is being given work for a lower grade level. It is now common practise to have students in the same class-room, doing work-sheets at different levels of difficulty. This is good in that they are all being given the opportunity to achieve a rewarding mark, but it covers up the fact that the child needs extra help.

In fact, math is a subject which always improves with individual attention. At any level, a student can be helped to do better. I believe that this is true, for any activity in the field in the field of human endeavour. A footy coach asks his team to go and practise kicking a footy on the oval, to be good for the match.  Surely math is at least as difficult as kicking a ball? I think it's harder. So a lot of practise, encouragement and direction is needed.

Math Wiz and English Wiz, from School Wizard, are designed to assist Canadian kids with the work they do in school. Because the programs are interactive and really easy to use, students can learn fast without being intimidated by thinking that they are doing math.  They can just pick it up as they go along. The online tutors study your children's results, and give encouragement and guidance.

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