School is tough, and in Singapore, it seems to be getting tougher for the kids every year. Year after year, so many stories about the horrors of increasingly difficult PSLE Math questions have surfaced in the form of parent forums and social media outlets, showing just how much tougher it is getting for our kids. As parents who want our kids to thrive in school and to get the best education that they can possibly have, seeing our kids struggle with sums in school can be extremely vexing.
We all know the importance of doing well in school, as it opens up many more paths and opportunities for our children, making sure that they get a better head start in their life and future career. Math is a subject that could put many students through never ending hair pulling sessions, as it might not be as intuitive for some students. However, mathematics remains as one of the most important subjects for students to master at a young age, as it helps greatly in the development of their logical and analytical brain and is also required in many science fields that your child might be interested in later in life.
Making sure that they get the basics right for mathematics opens up options for them when they are faced with the choice of study when university comes by, and would also help them to develop a more systematic, logical and analytical approach when they are faced with other problems.
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Indeed, many young students in Singapore are in need of some form of help or another for their math homework, and getting them professional guidance for it is definitely one of the best options. In fact, teachers have shared stories about how even students who hand in perfectly answered homework and seem to be doing great in school might actually also require help with their homework.
Specifically, this teacher shared that she once had a Primary 6 student who handed in homework that was perfectly solved all the time, but when asked to solve similar math problems in class, was unable to do so. That student even ended up failing her math exams for the end of term test. The teacher later found out that the student had been copying her cousin’s homework and blindly memorising the questions featured in the past year topical test papers, provided to her by her mum. With the stresses of school and perceived increasing difficulty of the math curriculum, it is not surprising that more students are seeking help with their homework.
Instead of blind copying of the model answers, having someone to guide them along the way and to explain the logic behind solving the math problems in their homework sheet will make sure that your child fully understands and learns, providing the skills required for them to apply the same logic to solve similar math problems that they might encounter in their exams.
The Solutions to Singapore Math Homework Help
With so many students out there struggling with their math homework, we are sure that you are interested in the options available out there to help your child along in their schoolwork. There are many different ways you can help your child out when you find them struggling, and here, we have compiled a comprehensive list along with sharing their pros and cons.
1. Helping your child yourself
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As a parent seeing your child struggling with his or her homework, your first instincts would probably be to jump in head on yourself, and try to give any help you can. After all, you are an adult who has gone through the education system, so primary school math probably would be something manageable, right?
One of the most obvious benefits that come with helping your child along with homework yourself is that unlike all the other options, you do not have to pay for anything! Instead of paying for a tutor to help your child with homework, doing it all by yourself would mean that you will have more money in your pocket every month for other expenses or to add on to your savings. For those who are really in a pinch, this might be the only option you have, as it does not require you to spend a single cent.
Another benefit that might come along with personally helping your child with homework is that you get to spend more time interacting with your child. Especially as kids grow older, you might find them starting to want to spend more time away from you, and less time talking or simply just hanging around you. This might be an abrupt and unwanted change you might face as a parent, and for many of us, we are simply not prepared to suddenly feel so much more distant to our children. Swooping right in when your child approaches you for help with their math homework can be a great opportunity for you to spend more quality time with your child, as well as build up an image in their head as the go to person when they need help.
After all, nothing feels the same as knowing that you are still very much relevant and needed by your child. Personally helping your child along with homework can definitely provide you with more time to interact with them, and forge stronger bonds that can be built on far into the future.
Of course, not everyone who wants to be able to help their child along with their homework is actually able to. If you are not the best in math, and struggle with these mathematical sums, you might be stumped by some of these questions that your child is perplexed by. Regardless of how strong your will to help them is, you might not have the required skills and knowledge to solve these math problems that your child is stuck on. Even if you pride yourself on being amazing at math in school, that really was many years back, and the syllabus has also since changed drastically from your schooling days. Even if you can remember what you have learnt in school in the past, there are probably new problems and solving methods being taught today (such as the concept of using models in solving math problems), that you have never encountered in your schooling years. Besides that, being great in math also does not automatically mean that you are also great at teaching math.
Some of the most brilliant minds in an area might not surface as the best teachers in their respective areas of expertise, as imparting knowledge is a whole new skill from having and attaining the same knowledge. This is why training exists for professional teachers in order to teach them methods and skills that are required to most effectively impart their knowledge to others. Unless you are a trained educator, you might not be able to approach the problem in the best way for your child to learn and grow.
For some parents who try to teach their children themselves, they might also face the problem of being too familiar a face to their children. While all that additional knowledge about your child can be beneficial when you are helping them along with their schoolwork, as you might best know the way to approach them, being that familiar with your child can also definitely work against you. You might not be willing to go stricter than necessary on your child in order to maintain a good relationship with them, or you might very well find yourself giving in to them upon being faced by a few cheeky grins on these faces you cannot help but love. As much as there is a chance of your relationship with your child improving when you start helping with homework, there is also an equal chance of this relationship worsening, as your child starts to associate you with constant nagging and boring schoolwork. Managing this would be a tough thing to tackle, and could take a toll on you both physically and mentally.
If you are working too, all you want to do after work would probably be to rest and relax at home after a hard and long day out and about. If you are already feeling tired when you head back home, having to help your child along with homework can be extremely draining on you. While there might be days where you feel more rested and energetic, your child still needs help with these boggling math questions even on the days you are working overtime and coming home just wanting to take a breather and sleep. What your child needs is consistent and reliable access to someone to help them with their schoolwork, and you might not be able to promise that if you are kept busy at work.
2. Group tuition
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Group tuition is where you enroll your child at a tuition center that holds regular classes every week. These classes are typically conducted in the same style as a normal class in school would be held, with a tutor in the front explaining the concepts and solving math problems along with the class. Classes can differ in number depending on which course you sign your child up for, but can reach up to 15-20 people.
If you are not confident of having the skills to guide your child along with his math homework, getting your child additional professional help in the form of a tutor in a group tuition setting can be a good alternative to consider. While these classes will definitely cost you a little extra every month, it is usually cheaper compared to one on one tuition help, and prices typically decrease the greater the number of students enrolled in the same class. However, certain tuition centres can charge premium rates for their group classes, leveraging on prestige and the quality of facilities provided, so make sure you check out the prices before deciding to enroll your child into one of these classes!
Group tuition, as its name suggests, is conducted in a group. Especially if the class size is huge, your child would not be likely to be getting much personal attention from the tutor. This would mean that the content taught would not be as targeted to your child’s needs as you might want it to be, and the classes might end up having the same effect as the regular classes your child already attends in school. With so many students to handle all at once, the tutor might not be able to provide much personal guidance and attention to your child, which might be exactly what he or she needs.
If your child has a specific preferred learning style, group tuition will not offer many opportunities for the tutor to tailor his teaching style to suit your child, so your child might not be maximising his use of time while attending these lessons! Besides that, if the tuition centres of your choice are located a distance away from where you live, the additional transport time and costs are also things that you should consider! A child’s time is precious, and you want to make sure that this time is maximised so that your child gets the best chance of fulfilling his utmost potential!
3. Private tuition
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Private tuition is a form of tuition where you hire a tutor to provide personalised classes for your child. This option provides more flexibility, and you can choose exactly what you want for your child- from the tutor you get, the duration of the lessons, the approach you want the tutor to take, to where you want these tuition sessions to be held.
The personalisation and customisation that you get with private tuition is unparalleled to the option of group tuition! Making sure that you have control over almost every aspect of your child’s tuition experience— from choosing the best tutor with a teaching style that speaks to your child, to deciding what exactly you would like the tutor to help your child with, can make sure that you are getting the best help for your child!
If you are a busy parent, and your child is also involved in many different extra curricular activities in school, the flexibility in scheduling that private tuition provides can be a deciding factor when you are considering all your options. There is also the option of holding the tuition session right in your own home, which cuts down on much unnecessary travelling time that can be spent on other things.
Private one on one tuition also means that your child will be getting personalised attention from the tutor, which is crucial in accelerating your child’s learning! Instead of group tuition, where the tutor might cover concepts that your child already understands, private tuition allows the tutor to find out what exactly your child is struggling with, and to give direct help in these areas! One on one guidance also makes sure that your child understands each step before moving on to the next, and the pace of teaching would be exactly what your child needs to best grow and learn.
Private tuition is significantly more expensive compared to group tuition, as you are paying for the one on one help that your child is getting. Besides that, searching for a private tutor that would best suit your child is yet another struggle in itself, and in the thriving open market for private tuition, not all of the tutors out there might be trained or qualified to teach. Tutors who have higher qualifications and prior experience in teaching students are most likely to call for higher rates, which can put a huge strain on your pocket. It is definitely hard to reach a balance between costs and the quality of the teaching provided by the private tutor, and many parents find themselves a little lost in the vast and often unregulated private tuition market.
4. Online tuition
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Online tuition is a new option that we have today due to the advances of technology and the advent of the internet! This option allows tutors to register on an online platform and reach students via the platform. Student scan now get help anywhere and at any time due to the convenience of such services.
Many online tuition services provide one on one on demand help for children struggling with their math homework, making sure that you will be able to get personalised help at any time and at your very convenience. For all you busy parents out there, this might be the best choice for you as your child will be able to get help with his homework at any time and only when he needs it!
Unlike private tuition, online tuition options often allow students to consult their tutors only on specific problems that they are unable to solve. Instead of paying for a few hours of tuition services every week, this allows you to only pay for exactly what your child needs, as these on demand tuition help can usually be purchased in blocks of 30 minutes. If you are not willing to splurge out on private tuition, but would still like your child to have access to personalised help with his homework, this would be a great choice!
There are not many cons that come with online tuition, but if your child requires more than some help here or there for their maths, and is really lagging behind on fundamental concepts, private tuition where an entire syllabus can be designed to make sure that your child gets a better understanding right from the basics can be more beneficial and cost effective for you.
After analysing all these options currently available in the market, we really think that online tuition is the best way to go for most kids out there! Online tuition offers a great balance of being affordable while still providing that one on one personalised help that your child really needs to learn effectively. Besides that, it is also the best solution for busy parents who do not have the luxury of taking time off to bring their children to schedules tuition classes. Due to its highly flexible nature, it can be accessed whenever your child faces a problem and is stuck with his homework, which can be a godsend when your child is faced with an exceptionally challenging problem in his homework that is due the very next day.
After understanding all the benefits of online tuition, we are sure that you are thinking about which online tuition service would be the best for your kids! After scouring the market, the online tuition service, iMath, seems to be a highly popular option that really worked for many people in Singapore.
iMath is an online learning community that is centered around mathematics. The online platform provides a community of math enthusiasts, parents and tutors, who are readily available when your child requires help with homework, regardless of where you might be. The iMath platform features a Community Wall, and math questions can be posted on the wall for anyone in the community to tackle and respond to. The best part of the community wall is that it is free, and you will not have to fork out anything for it. With the iMath app, posting these questions on the community wall is simple— just snap a picture of the math question that you are stuck on, post it, and you will receive a notification if someone answers the question you have posted.
However, if you are looking for more one on one guidance for your child, you can also request a 30 minute video call session with any one of the available tutors. With the iMath platform, it is easy for you to pick the best tutor to suit your child’s needs, as you will be able to use the filter and search function to narrow down potential tutors for your child. These video call sessions will also be recorded, allowing you and/or your child to review it at any convenient time.
If you are currently searching for a tuition service to help your child along with his math homework, definitely give iMath a try— the community wall is completely free, so there is really no harm in signing up for an account today! We wish you all the best in finding the right kind of math tuition to best suit both your needs and that of your child!