How to find a maths tutor for your child
May 18, 2021
In this week’s blog, we answer how to find a maths tutor for your child and explore the benefits of maths tutoring.
Explore the different sections by clicking on the links below:
- Discover why your child may need a maths tutor
- Maths tutors for primary school
- Maths tutors for exam preparation
- How do I find the right maths tutor for my child?
- What’s best for my child, learning in centre or online tuition?
- Our Education Experts answer your maths tutor FAQs
- Find a maths tutor near you
Why might my child need a maths tutor?
A maths tutor can bring a world of benefits to your child’s academic success. Whether it’s to help build confidence at primary or secondary school, tackle particular tricky maths problems or to help your child achieve their best in 11 Plus and Entrance Exams. One thing is for sure – maths tuition isn’t just for those who are struggling.
When is it the right time to get a maths tutor for your child?
We spoke to our experts to find out more about their experiences of needing a maths tutor and the different reasons why:
Explore Manager, Tom Belwitt
Maths was always the most interesting subject for me at school…
…I loved how you could use it in all areas of life – from measuring ingredients for baking a cake to designing a video game, maths is innate to everything we do! Any child regardless of their needs and abilities should absolutely look to have a maths tutor to strengthen their knowledge and love of maths. If your child enjoys a sport or leisure activity, you’d take them to a club to facilitate their love of that activity, and I believe that with maths it should be the same! Conversely, if a child finds something tricky, an environment where failure is celebrated as the path towards effective learning is ideal for these children! A maths tutor is great for children who are curious about maths, who want to know the “why” and pragmatism behind their answers and methods, rather than simply learning formula and repeating it. A low-pressure environment, such as a 1:1 or small group-based session, is the perfect place to explore and develop this interest and I couldn’t recommend tutoring more strongly for any children who love maths as I do!
Brand Ambassador, Chloe Oates
As a child, I always loved getting things right…
…I’m sure that’s something a lot of us can relate to even as adults! There was no better feeling than knowing I was getting more confident with different concepts, my teacher praising me for understanding something tricky or proudly bringing home Headteacher merits to my parents. One thing I certainly struggled with, however, was failure. So when I first started practising for my local Grammar School test, I was frustrated that I couldn’t grasp the maths questions, I couldn’t decipher some of the terminologies and that exam techniques wouldn’t stick in my memory. All of the patterns made no sense to me, it was like trying to read a new language. This frustration led to a ‘what’s the point?’ attitude – I wasn’t used to still getting things wrong after a few tries and my confidence plummeted because of this. I had never set myself up beforehand to understand that the 11 Plus wasn’t meant to be a breeze, it was a challenge and it required resilience. All it took was one tutor, the right tutor, to believe in me and to persevere with me until I saw a way out of my ‘I hate maths and I can’t do it’ pit. I started to get things right again, but most importantly my tutor taught me to learn from my mistakes, to stay calm and to not get irritated, understanding that learning is a process. I’m really grateful for this tutor for making me believe in myself again and even now as an adult when I can’t do something straight away, I can hear her voice telling me, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”.
Explore Manager, Rob Sturges
From a very young age, I never believed I could do well in maths…
…I never understood things as fast as the other children in my class. I always felt like I was racing just to keep up with everyone else, and even before I reached secondary school, I felt stressed and nervous in every maths lesson. This got worse and worse as time went on, and preparing for my maths GCSE was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It was only years later once I started working in education myself that I came to recognise that I could do maths, but the methods taught in school weren’t the right ones for me. All I needed was someone to take the time to explain things in a way that would make sense to me, and help me find my confidence, and my experience throughout school would have been completely different.
Explore tutor, Yamna Aslam
…Explore Learning helped me in secondary school when my grades weren’t quite where I wanted them to be. I went from getting 5s in maths to finishing my GCSEs with a grade 8, all thanks to my tutors from Explore Learning who gave me really helpful and personalised recommendations and methods. This inspired me to want to do the same thing for other children like me. As soon as I was old enough I applied to be a tutor in the same centre that helped me so much. I’ve been working in Woking ever since, passing my love of maths on to the next generation of fearless learners!
Maths tutors for primary school children
Maths forms the building blocks of a child’s education. It opens up the doors to all other subjects. Whether you are looking to build confidence, fill gaps in learning or stretch and challenge your child, Explore Learning can help you achieve your goals with our expert primary maths tutors.
Mapped to the school maths curriculum, our maths tutors are experts in supporting children aged 4-14 with:
- Confidence with Times Tables
- Interpreting word problems and problem-solving
- Skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- SATs tuition practice
- Exam technique and critical thinking
Maths tutors for exam preparation
Every parent wants to give their child the best chance of success at school. 11 Plus maths tuition can help boost their confidence and prepare them for the future, unlocking their full potential.
You can trust us too. With over 15 years of experience, we know exactly what the 11 Plus maths exam involves, and how to help your child achieve success.
We’ll focus on:
- Problem-solving skills
- Exam etiquette and techniques
- Mental arithmetic
- Speed, accuracy and fluency
How do I find the right maths tutor for my child?
Tutors provide specialist knowledge but also create a safe space to learn for those children who can feel nervous or hesitant. A maths tutor should work for you and your child’s needs; so here are some top tips to think about.
Understand your goals
This is important so that you know what you would like to gain from a tutor on a short and long-term basis. Sit with your child and decide which long-term goals you are setting out to achieve, in comparison to characteristics of a tutor which will help you get there.
Speak to other parents and teachers
Word of mouth is a great form of authentic feedback from those you trust. So, we encourage you to talk to other parents and your children’s teachers about their experience with tutoring. There is nothing like sharing experience, and hearing first-hand how others have benefited from extra support in specific areas of the curriculum.
Talk to your child
Having children on board with their tutoring is so important so that they are really getting the most of their membership. Children can feel hesitant or confused when getting a tutor, especially when they have not initiated this conversation or heard about friends having tutors.
We recommend getting your children involved from the start. Our free tuition trial sessions are a great way for them to meet our team and ask any questions.
Example questions to ask your children:
– Which characteristics would you like your tutor to have?
– What do you feel like you would like help with?
– How do you feel about getting a tutor?
When looking for a maths tutor, it’s important to find one that ticks all of the boxes. This means you need a professional, knowledgeable and experienced tutor that can understand your learning goals, and adapt to your child’s learning style.
Finding the right tutor
A quick Google search for ‘the best maths tutor near me’, can bring up a huge variety of tutoring options. With so many different choices, it can be challenging to know which tutor is right for you. Look out for:
- Good tutors with an excellent reputation
Find out what a tutoring service is really like by checking how their current members feel. Ask your family and friends, check the company testimonials and look at customer reviews on TrustPilot to get an overall picture of the company’s reputation.
At Explore Learning we encourage families to leave honest reviews of our tutoring, and we are really proud to have been rated ‘Excellent’ by our families on TrustPilot!
- Well-established learning tools
Having taught over 250,000 children, we have learnt so much about what delivers excellent progress and amazing learning experiences to our members.
After testing the top range of learning tools available, we realised that the only thing that would perfectly meet our members’ needs both now and in the future, was a tool that was designed and built by us. That’s how our one-of-a-kind learning tool Compass was born, designed by our in-house Education Experts.
What makes Compass different? With core functionalities to enhance children’s learning experience, Compass uses an adaptive logic engine, which chooses the questions for children based on their performance. This means enhanced feedback for parents and improved progress for children!
- Netmums recommended
Netmums is the UK’s largest parenting website which provides a coveted ‘Netmums Recommended’ stamp to services that are specifically tested and reviewed by their real families. To gain a stamp, 90% of testing families need to have recommended the product; so you can ensure that you are receiving quality tuition.
After our own Netmums trial here at Explore Learning, our ‘Explore at Home’ service is now, very excitingly, a Netmums recommended product! Here’s some of the feedback that the families had:
- OFSTED registered tutoring centres
For in-person tutoring, check whether the centre is on the voluntary childcare OFSTED register. Not only will this mean that the centre will have strong safety and safeguarding measures in place for your children, but also that there will be more financial support options available.
In centre or online maths tutoring?
With the rapid rise of remote and online tutors teaching maths, one of the questions we are regularly asked is, ‘which is the best, learning in an Explore centre or online?’. Our reply is always the same, the best form of tutoring is the one that will work for your child. Explore some of the benefits of our in centre and online tuition below:
Benefits of learning in an Explore centre
- Develops concentration and focus
Children who find it challenging to concentrate at home, benefit from having a focused learning centre to step into, away from all their gadgets and toys!
- Develops ‘classroom skills’
A centre environment encourages students to develop ‘classroom skills’, like learning to put your hand up to ask for help. By practising these skills in small groups, children feel empowered to transfer these skills back into the classroom.
Centre sessions not only provide children with the opportunity to learn from each other but also to make new friends!
- Maximises kinaesthetic learning
Kinaesthetic learners benefit from a hands-on approach, interacting with and exploring the world around them. Whether that’s using a number line or counting blocks, our tutoring centres contain all of the resources that your child could need!
Benefits of Explore’s online maths tuition.
- Tailored learning environment
The ability to learn from the comfort of home will benefit those children who can find the sensory experience of a classroom overwhelming. Having to worry less about their external environment, can lead to increased engagement of maths learning.
- Boosts technology skills
We know that many children love any opportunity to be able to use their devices and learning from home enables children to continue developing key technology skills!
- Develops independence
Without a tutor being physically present, there is increased opportunity for independent learning time, empowering children to become pro-active learners.
Okay, so this one’s not really for the children, but it is an important consideration as tutoring needs to work for you as a parent too! With busy family life, it may be that there is no spare time in the day to get to a centre, if so online tutoring may be a more sustainable solution for you.
Ultimately, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to tutoring, and that’s why our ‘bespoke’ tuition membership provides families with the opportunity to find a membership that works for them. Whether that’s in learning centre group sessions, online 1:1 sessions, or even a combination of both, we can make sure to find a membership that will suit your families needs.
Questions to ask a potential maths tutor
We asked passionate Explore Manager, Jessica Mostyn-Mortimer, to answer some key questions you need to answer when you’re looking for the perfect tutor!
- “Can you help boost grades?”
We certainly look to support children and make them feel as confident as they can when it comes to the classroom, however, boosted grades are a result of the process. We always praise the process and not just the outcome.
- “How long are sessions and how many does my child need?”
Each session lasts for 1 hour and determining how many are needed can look different to each child. We offer an array of options so that we can tailor each child’s membership to ensure they are able to make the most of their time with us.
- “Are there any areas of maths you specialise in?”
We map all of our questions to fall in line with the national curriculum. What is great about our learning tool, Compass, is that it is adaptive! This means it will find the specifics that your child needs support with but also will discover what to stretch and challenge them in. This constantly adaptive system ensures they always remain engaged with their maths work!
- “How do you make maths engaging?”
I always look to make it fun by making certain concepts relatable and discussing how they can be helpful in real life! Who doesn’t love talking about cake and pizza during fractions?!
Tutor Hannah, who loves supporting children with their learning, online and in our learning centres, continues to explain how we support children.
- “Are you able to support children with dyscalculia?”
Tutors are equipped with a variety of tools to support children with special educational needs and disabilities like dyscalculia. I believe when tutoring children with dyscalculia it is important to become mathematical experts on the basics such as Times Tables. This can be learnt through a range of methods such as a multiplication grid or even through song! With these skills, children with dyscalculia may find it easier to go through more complex maths problems, by going through each stage of the question step-by-step. Breaking down each part of the question and having the children repeat the step back to you before they do it, is an effective way of supporting the child in their answers!
- “What type of learning activities and resources do you offer?”
Our excellent learning tool Compass is tailored to each of our members and highlights areas in which they are struggling, in order to improve their knowledge on that particular subject. Not only does Compass provide practice for specific topics, but it also celebrates our member’s achievements through the mastery of new skills and rewards Fearless Learning Points! Alongside Compass, our Members’ Area offers a wide range of resources in order to continue learning at home.
- “How do you boost confidence in Times Tables?”
Learning the Times Tables can be a lengthy process but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! In order to achieve confidence in the Times Tables, I believe it is important for the child to build on their previous knowledge. For example, knowing the two Times Tables first establishes the pattern of multiplication and paves the way for larger numbers!
- “Why are maths methods so different to what I learnt at school?”
Learning different methods for maths problems can be super helpful as when it comes to maths, there is often more than one way of working an answer out. The benefits of being a member at Explore Learning is that although a certain method may not be working for your child at school, our tuition offers a tailored approach for your child, in which methods can be simplified and explained.
Curriculum Manager, Lewis Cherry, gives us his advice on how to navigate the school curriculum alongside learning at home:
- “What happens if you teach them a different method to school”
My short answer to this question would be, no. However, there are some considerations I think it’s important to make.
First of all, we don’t want to take the emphasis off of children learning the school method. It’s important for children to become secure in the use of these methods so that they can demonstrate their workings in the required way, and so that they can compare their workings with peers and teachers.
The main consideration is that the two methods should support each other, and not detract from each other. A written method is a tool to help you solve a mathematical problem, and it’s important to help children understand why we take the steps we do so that they understand the core concept. When you’re working with more than one method, it’s no different.
So I would say teach them the alternative method, but then spend some time discussing the two methods and see if you can really get to the bottom of them. It might be that the new method helps them understand the school method better (or vice-versa). As long as the methods support each other, that’s great.”
How do I find a maths tutor for my child near me?
Explore Learning maths tuition is in learning centres across the UK and online.
Our expert tutors are dedicated to long-term support for your child to achieve their goals. We believe in putting an achievable and tailored strategy in place to provide consistency, to unlock your child’s full potential.
We will champion your child to thrive in their education and beyond.
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