Math skills as tools

Sep 21, 2017 | Richmond Hill

Have you ever used a broken or ineffective tool? The tool can be anything from a dull knife, a phone, or a remote needing new batteries. I bet you got frustrated every time you used the tool. Maybe you didn’t get it fixed right away because you knew some tricks to make the tool semi-functional. When you finally fix or replace the ineffective tool you discover, you open up a whole new world of efficiency and satisfaction. You wonder, “Why did I wait so long to get it fixed?”

Now imagine your child’s math skills is that tool. It functions, but barely. Perhaps they are missing a foundational skill, have a learning gap, or learned shortcuts too soon. Maybe they are holding on to bad habits. Now take a few minutes to walk in your child’s shoes. Every day you go to math or science class you have to get out that ineffective tool. Often your friends watch you struggle and you feel embarrassed.

You may even start to think you hate math. Instead of blaming the tool, you associate the tool with the activity. Would you enjoy an activity, like sewing or cooking, if your tools, like the sewing machine or stove, didn’t work well? We bet not.

At Mathnasium of Richmond Hill, many of our students are using ineffective tools. We are the repair shop for math skills.

We dismiss the misguided idea that some kids are just bad at math. We know some kids do have to work harder at it than others. The parents’ attitude makes a world of difference.

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