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DS struggling with AS maths

(17 Posts)
Mitzi50 Sun 21-Dec-14 13:22:45

I've just had my son's school report and it is clear that he is struggling with maths and further maths. He has said he wants to drop further maths which seems sensible under the circumstances but that still leaves the problem of maths.

We live in a rural location and I can't find a suitable maths tutor - my maths stops at O level so I can't help. He is very lazy but says he is going to maths clinic at school but he needs more than that to catch up. Can anyone suggest what to do - holiday course, online resources, books? He is doing MEI maths

JustRichmal Sun 21-Dec-14 15:00:21

Letts and CPG do revision guides for A level maths.

Khan Academy, though American, explains things really clearly.

Often students struggle through, trying to comprehend new ideas first time. If he can just work through and not worry about understanding it all completely, but just getting as far as he can, when he returns to it next day or in a day or two it will seem easier.

Also working through examples then looking at the solution will help him to understand, rather than just reading through explanations.

The biggest barrier to understanding maths is telling yourself it is too difficult for you before you start.

If it is the case that your maths is not that good, you could get him to explain the maths to you. Teaching someone else is an excellent way of learning.

His laziness could be because if the thinks he can't do it, his best option would be not to confirm this by trying. If he sets himself a timetable and you think of a reward for just giving it a go, it may help.

chumaniward1 Sun 21-Dec-14 19:21:11

my daughter relied on youtube videos to teach herself gcse and as maths, and it seemed to work in the end with a week of cramming and then got 95% on both 2 years early after getting nowhere near that on all the practise papers so he should improve significantly by the time of exams

TooHasty Sun 21-Dec-14 20:03:56

I would second the Khan academy .Also he is going to need these holidays to catch up, otherwise he will get further and further behind.If he works at it it will all click into place

Mitzi50 Sun 21-Dec-14 21:29:28

Thanks everyone - I found the cpg book and will look at the Khan Academy and get him to do some work each day.

lisaloulou84 Sun 21-Dec-14 21:45:02

The jump from GCSE maths to AS level maths is huge. I got a strong B at GCSE and failed AS spectacularly. It's a whole different subject and has a lot more physics involved, which wasn't my strong subject. A tutor should be able to help figure out whether this is his subject now with the big leap.

shahidhussain12 Tue 23-Dec-14 15:01:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

QOD Tue 23-Dec-14 15:27:16

What year is he? Dd took GCSE maths in yr10 and nnow doing further maths in yr 11
her head of maths told me that it doesn't matter of they pass or "fail" as at best, it's a practice run for AS LEVEL and at worst, meh. She has GCSE maths A

roisin Tue 23-Dec-14 15:32:03

You could ask his sixth form whether they could recommend a yr13 student to do some mentoring? Ds1 (yr13) does some mentoring with a yr12 student in biology and it seems to work very well.

Mitzi50 Tue 23-Dec-14 17:05:13

Roisin that's a really good idea - I will ask if this is a possibility.

He's doing a practise paper from the CPG book at the moment - but it took a huge row and various threats to get him to sit down and do it.

colacola Sat 27-Dec-14 08:22:53

MEI is a hard course.

Also some schools cover nearly all the topics in the AS year so children can feel inundated.

There are lots of tutorials on you tube that might help.

circular Sat 27-Dec-14 09:11:54

Is he studying maths and further maths modules alongside each other?
Some schools do the complete A level maths in yr12, and then all further maths in yr13. If he is doing the latter, then dropping further maths may just mean changing maths groups which would result re-doing some work already covered, which would be helpful.

DD1 (now yr13) not a natural at maths, mid-A at GCSE has found most new topics a bit of a challenge at AS. But the advantage with maths being progressive is, as soon as a more difficult topic is grasped, the earlier stuff becomes much easier. As long as they don't make too many careless mistakes on the easier stuff (like she does). She managed a mid-B at AS, but will be retaking the C2 paper (which was c) to give more points towards her overall grade. y13 retakes in maths modules don't add to the workload anywhere near as much as in most other subjects.

Practise and lots of past papers seems to be the key.
What other subjects is your DS taking?
DD found dropping the 4th AS (which was a huge drain) has helped ease this years workload.

TheFirstOfHerName Sat 27-Dec-14 09:28:38

This happened to me 26 years ago. I found GCSE Maths so easy when I sat it a year early (first year that GCSEs existed). Then we started the AS course at the beginning of Y11, and the jump was unbelievable. I remember doing a mock AS exam in the January and every single question was incomprehensible. Some students cried.

I went on to get an A in the AS and an A in the subsequent A-level, although I never really understood logarithms, and the integration of trigonometry remained a mystery.

I think that dropping FM might be wise, but the Maths might still be achievable.

MollyAir Sat 27-Dec-14 09:40:51

Marking my place, hope you don't mind, OP. Some good info here already! thanks

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 27-Dec-14 09:44:02

QOD - is that AS further maths or is it the level 2 AQA Further maths which is very different? (The level 2 FM covers some topics in Core 1)

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 27-Dec-14 09:46:04

Really really recommend yaymath for some of the topics. It only covers a small portion of the curriculum but it's done in a really watchable way.

HoHonutty Sun 28-Dec-14 17:41:49

Very helpful thread, thanks Mitzi.

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