How do I tutor Math?
So, this is one of the most important and common question parents have for me.
“My kid doesn’t like Math, How are you going to introduce Math to him/her?“
High School Math Tutoring
Well, it really depends on the student. For highschool and Adult tutees, I usually employ the “ I do, we do, you do ” method of teaching. It works like a charm. They aren’t coming to get lectured for hours. They just want to get comfortable with numbers. And “I do, we do, you do” is a great tool to help them with that.
Middle School Math Tutoring
But, For middle schoolers, it is generally a different ball game. Most of them hate extra classes. They don’t want to sit in the same place and do Math for an hour. So, I split the time we spend learning together.
The first five to ten minutes is actually warming up. I just ask them to recall what they learned in the last lesson. That puts them in the learning mode. After that, we start with the lesson of the day. I introduce the concept with a little backstory. Usually, a thing they do every day. Like, for example, when I introduce Integer Addition, I ask them to explain “How credit cards work?” Almost all of them get that right. And gradually we get into integer addition. We start working on the problems after this.
Also, I always have at least two to three alternate methods. If this doesn’t work, at least any of the alternate ways will work. This would go on for probably 40 minutes. The last ten minutes, I just make them practice the problems that they will be working after the lesson that day. We wind up the session recalling what we learned that day.
And I make sure that my students are vocal about their understanding of the lesson. I encourage them to ask questions the moment they pop on their head.
Maintaining this rapport is what I believe the important aspect of my Tutoring.
Here is an interesting conversation I had with a student I tutor. I used Pi to explain Rational and Irrational Numbers to her.
So, this is how I introduced Irrational Numbers to a student of mine. I asked her “Do you know Pi?” she said, “Yes, my teacher said Pi is equal to 3.14”. I said “Is that it, just 3.14? “ she said, “Yes, that’s what she said.”
I shared my screen and typed pi’s value in Google. I found a wiki article and asked her to read it. And she was quite surprised by the number of digits that follow 14. And I also told her about Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee from Japan, who calculated Pi to a new world record length of 31 trillion digits with the help of the company’s cloud computing service. She was even amused to know that is still an approximation of Pi.
After this interesting conversation, I told her to observe two Numbers
1.851851851 And 3.141592653589793 (pi)
I asked her to figure out a pattern among the fractional parts of both Numbers. She was quick to find a Pattern with the first one and couldn’t come up with one with the second one.
I told her that finite and recurring decimals are indeed rational Numbers as they can be written as a ratio of two integers. And we discussed writing Pi as a ratio of 2 integers (I told her 22/7 is an approximation) and found it is not possible to come up with one.
She quickly understood the difference between Irrational and Rational Numbers.
I also came up with some open-ended questions at the end of the lesson like,
if Pi is irrational, why are defining it has a ratio of Circumference to the Diameter of any Circle?
I also asked her “Do you think it is possible for Pi to be a rational Number as we have not yet computed it completely?”
Well, I am pretty sure, I didn’t turn her into a “Pi is Rational” Zombie.
Your Love for Math
If you have a knack for pure Math and would love to immerse yourself in Analysis and Algebra in the future, You should opt for Calculus without a second thought. Or, if you are curious about Applications of Math and would love to play with data, then Statistics is your cup of tea.
If you have plans to major in STEM, then AP Calculus is a must in high school. AP Statistics is a better option for Commerce, Business and Finance majors. You can choose both if you want to major in Math and Statistics. it is up to you.
Also for some, AP Statistics is a cakewalk and many find it extremely hard. I personally think that people with good reading comprehension find AP stats easy. In the case of Calculus, I think you can evaluate yourself with the help of your performance in Pre-calculus.
Now coming to the Statistics,
AP Calculus AB
Passing Rate: 57.1%
Five Rate: 21.3%
AP Calculus BC
Passing Rate: 80%
Five Rate: 44.6%
Passing Rate: 57.3%
Five Rate: 13.2%
Note: The statistics above can be misleading because one should also consider the potential of students opting for the subjects. Usually, STEM students outperform Arts students in Math. People opting for Calculus would most probably choose to m
YouTube channels every math motivated High Schooler should know about:
If you are someone who thinks that math teachers and school books don’t do justice to your inquisitive mind, you are not alone. Subscribe to these channels to keep yourself motivated.
- MathAntics: Math Antics does basic math but a lot funnier. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBuMwlP7kHkNxdPAqtFSJTw
- Mathematicsonline: Must subscribe for geometry and also has videos to interpret equations geometrically. https://www.youtube.com/user/mathematicsonline/videos
- LeiosOS: Anyone who aspires to become a software engineer one day should definitely check out the videos in this channel. Very insightful and I loved the Linear Algebra part of it. One can learn the basics of Data Structures, Graph theory and Algorithms here. Hasn’t been active in the recent past. The old uploads are great. https://www.youtube.com/user/LeiosOS
- Numberphile: Most subscribed math channel. Makes math videos for general populace, can be binge watched. Very active in uploads too. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Numberphile
- Mathologer: Again like Numberphile. Makes videos on popular math problems like Riemann Conjecture, FLT etc. Must follow. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mathologer
- 3Blue1brown: Beautiful and appeasing visualizations. I dug it out from YouTube. Must watch. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3brown1blue
- Hotel Infinity: It covers interesting mathematical paradoxes. Makes them easy to understand. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hotel+infinity
- 3D printing math: It makes 3D printed math structures. Quite Amusing. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3d+printing+math
- Khan Academy: Classic. Vast so know what you want to learn and search. Don’t binge watch.https://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy
You can know more about learning math online here.
You can learn about the Youtube channels for math motivated high schoolers here. Let me know if you wish to know more about online resources for homeschooling. You can do this here.
Also, if you want to try Online tutoring, you can book a free consultation here.
Traditional education (classroom education) is structured in such a way that it churns out a mass, disciplined workforce with
Apart from stressful homework and learning information from stressed and underpaid teachers, students have to go through social anxiety due to bullying and popular culture, among other things. The frequent shootings in the US vouch for this.
Furthermore, according to the International Labor Organization, due to the recent changes in the tech world, like automation and artificial intelligence, the workforce demand in all sectors would soon undergo a massive change which will not be compensated by the supplies of our traditional education system.
Thus, to remain relevant and competitive the student has to grow and polish the skill sets necessary in a day where they spend the majority of the time in a classroom with relatively less learning output. It is strenuous and depressing.
Online Education, something that many parents are confused about, is a learning environment that you and I dreamed about during our school time, sitting in a boring History class.
The advantages online education have over classroom education are humongous.
Kids learn at their own pace. They neither lag behind nor sit bored wasting time.
If your kid wants to take a piano class in between classes or wants to paint a magnificent portrait, they can. They get ample hobby time in peace. No missing breakfast or school buses anymore.
Your kid will learn what he wants to learn, when he wants to learn it. Do you know, as a kid Einstein could not perform well in any subject except mathematics?
Parenting Made Easy
You as a parent do not have to meet teachers or the principal anymore.
However, Online education needs self-discipline and motivation. With these things it can be very rewarding.