If you were one of those who never struggled with math in your school years, you were lucky! The truth is that many students have some sort of issue when they come across mathematics, especially in larger, more developed cities such as Toronto, New York, Paris, and Moscow. According to the stats published by The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), in 2018, over %49 of Grade 6 and %45 of Grade 9 students of Ontario failed to perform even at the provincial average. Furthermore, the performance of Canadian students in mathematics has been in decline for the past decade or so in all grades. Also, a report by Global News claimed that the Ontario students score lowest in math throughout Canada. Now while the new curriculum for 2021 has been modified to help reduce this issue, the problem seems to be as hard-skinned as a rhinoceros and continues to push down the curvature of math scores all over Canada. In this article, we are going to shed light on 7 reasons why you may want to hire a math tutor, especially if you live in Toronto before it’s too late. Hiring a private math tutor however, will turn the tides.
#1 The Monster of Mathematics!
Let’s be honest, math is just HARD! It almost doesn’t matter where you live, what your ethnicity is, or what grade you are at, math makes life hard! Working with whole numbers and fractions and decimals and multiplication and division is a headache of its own and don’t even get me started on integrals and limits. What makes the whole situation worse is this: more than often, a new topic pops up
before the previous one gets to properly sit in. Students often struggle with learning math in class as the subject at hand may be requiring more elaboration, examples and practice. Now having over 20 students (and I’m being generous with
that number) in the same class means the time allocated to each individual student drops dramatically.
While private schools may provide less crowded classes, their costs rise up to the roof which is unproportional to their services. In this case, while charging more, they may not create an appropriate boost in the students’ performance in math. This in turn adds even more pressure on the student himself as his mindset will be directed towards thinking of being untalented or not smart enough. This misconception is further hammered in as both the students and their parents start to witness identical results while spending double to triple of what they previously used to pay. Hiring a private math tutor however, will turn the tides. Here is how. Having a private tutor means all the focus and energy are directed towards only one individual student. What this essentially means is that the tutor is able to freely practice as much as necessary to make sure the student will fully lock in with the subject of the session.
#2 The Approach Matters!
Do you remember the time when someone explained some random thing to you and it felt like he was speaking in a foreign alien language but then, someone else explained the exact same concept through a different door and you suddenly understood the whole thing? Well the difference lies in their approaches. While the first person has done their best, the second person took advantage of the proper approach that matches your character and style of learning as a potential learner. Now imagine how critical this is when it comes to mathematics! Good luck teaching quadratic equations and parabolas to everyone the same way. Well, after all it is a proven fact that different individuals learn through different mechanisms. While some of these mechanisms are more common than others, it doesn’t mean they will always work for everyone. A classroom teacher is simply not able to teach one concept with multiple approaches in a class full of students. Attempting to do so will not only bore different groups of students in the classroom, but also take up too much time.
A private tutor will help your child to discover and learn the subject through the window that suits him best. Since your child is literally the only student in the class, the tutor has the opportunity to work out the problems in a way that is most comprehensible for your child.
#3 Flexibility At Its Maximum
When talking about flexibility there are two main aspects that we are going to address here. The first area where a private math tutor, or any other tutor for that matter, will excel over school is the flexible timing. The truth is that some people are just not able to perform well in the 9 to 5 school time. They simply can’t. Whether it is hobby or genetics is not important. What matters is that to improve their learning, they need to take lessons at times other than the typical school time. This is especially true for subjects such as math and physics which require more understanding rather than memorizing. A private math tutor can be hired at almost any time of the day that is convenient and fruitful for the student. What makes this even better? Private tutors often offer non-fixed schedules. This means that parents can tailor their child’s private lesson in accordance with their other schedules and activities. Also, canceling a session does not mean the student is going to miss the lessons while being absent in school does! The second aspect of flexibility is about the lesson itself. Previously we established that a private math tutor is crucial for most students as each individual, more or less, requires their own customized approach. Now in addition to that, a private math tutor can identify the areas where their student is having weakness and dedicate more time to working and practicing on that area rather than following a rigid school schedule. This is more tangible in high school where the spectrum of subjects starts to get broader and the students must solve problems that require more than one type of mathematical operation. Take Grade 11 as an example. Students must learn to effectively use polynomials and probability (which are as different as men and women) during the same school year. It is obvious that not all students will equally connect with either of them. It is even more obvious that a school teacher simply can not dedicate one entire session to practicing what others are already good at, with just one small group of students. A private tutor CAN!
While some people are pretty fast learners, others may struggle with understanding certain concepts. This is especially true in mathematics where students are bombarded with new concepts every session and schools are constantly under pressure to cover the curriculum provided by the higher authorities. This pressure eventually falls on the shoulders of the students as it may take more or less time for each individual to grasp a new concept depending on their abilities and personality. More than often the speed at which mathematics is taught in schools is way beyond what a typical student can follow. Again, this issue is more visible in high school students as the subjects not only grow in numbers year after year, but also get extremely more difficult too. As an example, in Grade 12 students are bound to follow up on all the topics they supposedly learnt in Grade 11, and start wrestling with the demon Calculus! In such cases students may require more time before they can make the necessary connection with the topic at hand. While they are struggling to follow the lesson, the school teacher is left with no choice but to move on to the next stage of their lesson plan for the day. This in turn will lead to the studies to pile up resulting in poor performance in the exams. Private math tutors walk with your child at a pace that is most comfortable for them: their own pace! This means your child will only head out to the next topic once they feel confident about it and without feeling they are slowing others down or losing their self-esteem.
#5 So Much To Do, So Little Time!
Now here’s another critical question; assuming in one class, all the students learn with the same exact approach and at the same exact pace, is there even enough time to sufficiently cover EVERYTHING in the class? As mentioned previously, teachers are pushed to squeeze a large amount of material in a single school year leaving them with no choice but to leave practicing to the students themselves and cruising through the text books at an illogical speed. Many times, in contrast to their desire, they must move too quickly through certain topics to make and, God forbid, skip some others entirely just to meet the deadlines. This will turn into major disasters for the students as each topic is dependent on the previous one while providing foundation for the ones to come. For instance, trigonometry in Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 requires a massive amount of explanation and practice even for students who are able to constantly maintain their academic performance above the national average. Unfortunately teachers are not granted the amount of time for reviewing such topics with their students as necessary. In some cases teachers are not even able to review the previous lesson. A private math tutor can help your child with this by simply taking care of this issue. The least advantage a private math tutor will provide is expanding the time that is dedicated to your child’s learning.
#6 Tuning The Difficulty
All students tend to use the same exact math book in school. This means everybody will be practicing and learning through the same exact exercises solving the same exact questions. Many students who seem to be struggling with mathematics tend to have issues with the so-called standard book. They often find many of the exercises too hard for them to understand and solve. A private math tutor adjusts the difficulty of the topic at hand to a level that suits the needs of such students. In many cases a private math tutor will work wonders as the tutor first introduces simpler exercises for their students before getting to use those provided in their school book. This way, he or she makes sure that the student has established a firm understanding and foundation of the topic before getting to more complicated things. But this is only one side of the coin! On the other hand, private tutors are not meant for underperformers alone. Gifted students can take as much advantage as their weaker friends from hiring a private tutor. The same way a private math tutor would tune their lessons for their average or below-average students, they are able to turn up the difficulty for top students. Firstly this provides a sweet challenge for the gifted, pushing them further into the realms of mathematics and boosting their confidence even further as they realize they can outperform their standard syllabi. Moreover, going beyond the requirements of the official curriculum will help the students gain more readiness for their college or university in the following years or, encourage them to pursue other heights in mathematics such as applying for Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO).
#7 The Art of Teaching
More than often, parents make the mistake of thinking they are able to help their children with their homework or worse, reteach them their school material. This is more common among parents who happen to have a college or university degree as they consider themselves an expert in a subject such as math. Afterall, how hard can Grade 4 math be for an engineer right? Well, WRONG! It is true that the actual concepts may look overly simple for an engineer, it is the art of teaching that the parent lacks. Taking a simple look around, we can all point at multiple families who are having arguments and cryings and hatred drifting through their walls every night while they are shouting at a red-eared innocent child “what is 3 times 3 Timmy?”. And all that is being replayed in Tommy’s head are either wrong answers or hateful speech! The pill such parents need to swallow, and they need to swallow it fast, is that on a scale of 1 to 10, their ability to teach is often below 2 – and I am again being very generous here. They fail to realize the seeds they are watering in their children and the negative impacts their doing will have in their future even as an adult. Low self-esteem, lack of motivation and a hateful attitude towards math, which will neither get any easier, less annoying or less necessary in the coming years, are just some of the many horrible consequences that will tail their children throughout their lives. Do you see why hiring a private tutor is absolutely necessary? Besides being well-versed in mathematics itself, a private math tutor also possesses sufficient knowledge to properly guide your child through the ups and downs of each and every topic without making them hate it or lose motivation. All in all, the data presented by EQAO shows that the performance of students has been dropping drastically in mathematics over the past decade and so private math tutors are becoming an integral part of schooling in Canada and especially in Ontario. Choosing a capable private math tutor has also been becoming more challenging for the parents due to the fact that the demand for such tutors has been rising and more novice and less talented tutors have been entering the market. Read the article “Steps In Choosing The Right Math Tutor For Your Child” here to learn more about how you as a parent can overcome this challenge or leave the decision to the experts: that is us! In Geniusmath we have created accurate filters for our private math tutors to save you from the hardships of your quest in finding one and also to help you save as much money as possible.