# Mumsnet Talk

## Would a couple of sessions tutoring help?

(18 Posts)
lechatnoir Sun 24-Feb-13 18:47:42

DS age 7 in y2 seems to be struggling to grasp some basic maths concepts (eg double digit addition / subtraction) and however many times we sit down he's just not getting it so I'm wondering whether a couple of private tutoring sessions would help? Is it worth it for just 2 or 3 sessions?

trinity0097 Sun 24-Feb-13 19:40:23

What does the class teacher recommend? Are you doing it in the same way that he/she does it in class - children can get easily confused if a parent is using a different method to one they use in school.

Maybe speak to the teacher and figure out how they are doing it, then try again. I'm sure you can help him rather than pay for a tutor. Unless you think a tutor would work better. It is better to help him now then wait and it become an issue for him.

lechatnoir Sun 24-Feb-13 20:11:19

Thanks - I asked for some guidance & she gave me a really helpful book (Parent's survival guide to Maths homework) so I'm confident I'm following the correct methods but nearly 2 months of doing short but reasonably regular sessions & he doesn't seem any clearer. Certain things he's very happy with: tally/bar charts, halves & doubles, evens & odds, 2/3/5/10 times tables, telling the time, money & even the narrative questions don't seem to bother him but addition & subtraction and basic grasp of a number line have him stumped! I will revisit the teacher again and ask for her help but it's almost as if he's resisting purely because it's me not a teacher which is why I was wondering about getting some outside help.

True, he might pay more attention to outside help.

dangly131 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:27:08

is he confident with his place value - tens and units? You can download and print arrow cards from sparkle box which have units which sit over the 0 in the tens so helps to show that it is not just a 2 in the number 24 but a 20. Once he has a strong grasp of this you can use the arrow cards to add the tens and units separately so he can see what happens when he is adding them together. It may be that if he is not confident in this, then he will not appreciate how to add a 2 digit number or understand what happens to the values.

numbum Sun 24-Feb-13 21:44:28

Please don't use sparklebox! Google Sparklebox and Paedophile and you'll see why

Sun 24-Feb-13 21:49:53

We did get a tutor for DS1 at exactly the same age. The teacher said he needed help but every time DH and I tried there was major strops and throwing of pencils.

He had 1/2 an hour a week, it got him back on track, he gained in confidence and everything clicked into place.

The teacher claimed she didn't have time to help him. She had a class of 20.

SanityClause Sun 24-Feb-13 21:54:54

DD2 had a tutor for about a year. She did 1/2 hour of maths and 1/2 hour of spelling.

It improved her confidence no end, and she decided to give up the sessions, herself, when she felt ready to do so.

lechatnoir Sun 24-Feb-13 22:21:14

Don't worry I'm sadly aware if sparkle box & was about to post similar . Those that used a tutor did you just find a 1:2:1 private tutor or try one of the small group places like kumon or kip McGrath? Private tutors seem to charge £25/30 a session which isn't something we could sustain regularly or long term.

Sun 24-Feb-13 22:24:43

DS had a one to one private tutor. It cost £10 for half an hour. She was recommended to us. For DS it was one to one he needed.

Sun 24-Feb-13 22:27:37

Can I also recommend getting hold of some numicon? My dd was having similar difficulties in Year 2 and we played around with numicon for a couple of weeks and it made all the difference in the world. Actually, I say play, but I'd managed to get hold of the accompanying lesson plans, which are written so that someone with no teaching background can implement them. It might be worth asking in your ds's school if they use numicon and if so, whether you could do some photocopying.

I ended up buying quite a lot of resources (I can let you know which were most useful if you are interested). They aren't cheap but I figured it was cheaper than tutoring if my dd didn't get to grips with the basics of maths. I think the research evidence if pretty strong for the efficacy of numicon and to be honest, having done it with my dd, I did wonder why all basic maths isn't taught using this method in schools. It just makes it incredibly easy to understand what numbers actually are (what is a 3 or a 5 or a 15) and it makes the relationships between numbers utterly obvious. Very clever stuff.

dottt Sun 24-Feb-13 22:30:10

We've had 1:1 for exactly that and paid 15/20. Really helped dd who was falling further and further behind and losing confidence

Mon 25-Feb-13 10:14:55

We did that for dd towards the end of Y3 - she had some gaps due to teachers going on maternity/being ill etc earlier, and was getting upset and panicky over maths homework (in spite of being in high set). It really helped, we found a tutor who gives children heaps of confidence - dd loved it, and is now flying with her maths.

LittleRedBonferroni Mon 25-Feb-13 10:50:50

We're doing exactly the same in the same situation, Elibean, so good to hear that it worked for you. We're using our local Kip McGrath - 28/session so not cheap - but you sign up for sets of 6.

Mon 25-Feb-13 11:59:15

Hope it helps

Really is worth it, to hear dd say maths is her favourite subject now - as opposed to dreading it!

LittleRedBonferroni Mon 25-Feb-13 12:02:01

PastSellByDate Mon 25-Feb-13 14:41:19

Hi lechatnoir:

Our DD1 came unstuck at exactly the same point and we opted to go for an on-line tutorial: mathsfactor (link here: www.themathsfactor.com/). We've never looked back.

Others here have also sung the praises of Mathletics (www.mathletics.co.uk/) and maths whizz (www.whizz.com/).

All offer free trials.

For us going to mathsfactor allowed us to positively do something about helping our DD with maths. The wonderful thing about Carol Vorderman (who is behind mathsfactor) is the explanation videos are always cheerful and positive (she's never tired or having a bad day!). Learning is very visual and practice is through a range of playing games and traditional practice with sums. Its slow and steady progress approach means that children get plenty of time to really work with concepts and master the skills required. It's also very keen on teaching number patterns.

HTH

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