How Parents Can Help Students Excel in Junior Math
Before joining junior college, many students enjoy and even pass math. However, as they progress to higher education, many students do not perform as well as they expect to. Some of the students complain about the math being tougher while others lose interest in the subject. This is similar to the General Paper subject that JC students take, which is an advanced version of the English language subject they used to take in primary and secondary school. Although teachers are undeniably vital in the education of children, parents have an equally important role. Children endeavor to make their parents proud, especially in their education. Parents can support students in various ways to retain an interest in junior math.
Allow students to solve math problems their way
Sometimes parents try to force their hand on how a particular math problem is to be answered. Unfortunately, a parent telling a junior college student to solve a problem in a specific way when they are comfortable using another can be overwhelming. Junior college math is not just about memorization but about mastery.
Math in Singapore has been designed to help students find meaning in what they are doing. Parents choosing to teach students an alternative way of finding solutions is only great if the child is capable of understanding that there are different ways to find the answer. However, if a parent’s assertiveness is going to confuse a student, it is best to let students do things their way.
Accept the changes math has undergone
Singapore has made several changes in the curriculum, including math. How math was taught several years ago is not the same today. Several years ago, the emphasis was getting the right answer. Teachers today focus on getting students to understanding math and being able to explain their answers. It is vital for parents to understand this. Although many parents consider getting the right answer is the ultimate goal since it contributes to the pass mark, teachers also want students to know why the answer is right or wrong.
Be a support system for the students
It is natural for parents to look at teachers as the primary support system for students. However, there is so much that parents can do. They can talk to their children about their feelings towards math and what help they need to perform well. Some students do not respond well to junior college math. They may be approaching junior math the same way they did in their past classes. If need be, parents can get the students extra help in the form of tuition to help them appreciate the differences they encounter in math. Sometimes calculus and statistics are just a little tricky unless the student understands the techniques and terms to solve the given problems.
Discuss the university prospects and the importance of math
Some students do not perform well in math in junior college because they feel they are towards the end of their education. Math in the earlier years played a critical role in the final grade to advance to the next class. However, they may not see the relationship between math and their future. It is vital for parents to discuss courses their children intend to pursue in University and discuss how math will influence their ability to gain admission for their desired career path. For example courses like Medicine, Advanced Sciences, Statistics, Economics, and Law require mathematics. These courses require math. Mathematics also trains students to be critical thinkers, and this is a necessary component for students who enroll in these courses.
As students prepare for junior college, it is critical for parents to start discussing their future academic and career plans. This is the time to start making choices that will influence their final grade and acceptance to university for courses they are passionate about. Students also need to be prepared for any changes they are likely to encounter in how they approach subjects they have been learning, such as mathematics. If need be, a tutor can give the students mock examinations to test their ability to respond to questions during actual examinations.