The Right Maths App for you Child
Play is the best form of learning for kids, no doubt about it. These days however, traditional educational play involving scissors, glue, books and toys is being combined with screen technology in the form of educational apps across a range of learning fields.
Studies have shown that using apps on tablets increases fine motor skills in primary maths students quite markedly. For example when they work on maths activities on screen such as a puzzle or pie chart they need to rotate pieces and manoeuver them around on the screen. Kids also learn to listen to detailed instructions and follow these through to achieve the desired outcome when using apps.
Research the app well before downloading it onto your device. This can be in many forms from word of mouth, online forums or speaking with your child’s teacher about what they recommend. It’s best to look for apps that reinforce key concepts that the kids may be learning currently such as fractions for primary children, geometry or decimals for primary children in order to cement these in their heads. Look past the number of downloads and user ratings on the app store as these can be manipulated and try the app yourself to make a well informed decision about the app. Always choose companies that have a strong background in educational products (traditional or digital) and be aware of any hidden charges that be lurking within the app once it is downloaded.
Some of the best apps such as primarymaths.com.au are so good that they can be used as an effective alternative to formal face to face maths tutoring (sorry maths tutors). In fact, I believe they can actually be of more benefit as they invoke a sense of play in the student, letting them learn maths in a more relaxed, engaging manner at home. The primarymaths app and website also contains various additional maths tutoring resources that can be downloaded within the app to further explore key concepts taught.
The big concern with any screen based activity is that if their use is not restricted, kids may become addicted or dependent which can have a negative effect on their social development. Be sure to set clear boundaries around app usage to things don’t get out of hand. A good guide is no more than 2 hours of screen time at home per day (including TV, phones, tablets, laptops etc) and 1 hour of this to be used on primary maths educational activities.
Maths Tutoring can Help your Child if used Correctly
There is no doubt about it, maths and science are in high demand across a range of global growth industries from mining, engineering, IT, medical research and economics. As a general rule, Primary maths students in Australia now learn maths in a manner as to encourage a deep understanding maths concepts rather than rote learning. Do you really need a tutor then or is the classroom teacher enough?
As many studies have shown, professional, out of school maths tutoring can have a huge positive effect on developing maths skills. However, tutoring should be done in moderation and in such a way as to encourage understanding and develop an interest in maths in the student. Excessive out of school tutoring can actually have a negative impact on a childs learning, as it overburdens kids and reduces enjoyment. Students need to be engaged and keep their minds inquisitive and active and have a broader experience of life.
So how do you encourage learning in Primary school children? Well, obviously kids are all different and respond to different teaching methods but as a general rule of thumb, if kids see maths a fun activity rather than a chore, they are more likely to learn. There are now a range of online maths tutoring resources available to parents and teachers alike which use modern teaching methodology in fun and engaging ways to develop a deep understanding of key maths concepts such as addition for primary children, place value for primary children and decimals for primary children.
These maths tutoring resources use images, graphics and real world examples to apply key maths concepts in a way kids respond to and can comprehend, rather than alienating kids with seemingly complex and abstract maths problems. For example, some additional maths based activities that these resources use is to cut an orange into six equal segments to explain fractions for primary children in a way that kids can understand and eat!
To sum up, traditional maths tutoring can be very beneficial if used correctly. However, with the range of innovative resources available online these days, learning maths outside of school hours has never been easier and more fun for your kids.