Testimonial from Sookyung in Hong Kong

Here’s a testimonial from Sookyung in Hong Kong who’s daughter I have tutored for a number of months now, leading into her new school in Y4 in Hong Kong:


“Neil is a very committed and reliable tutor. He provides specially tailored lessons to my daughter based on discussion with me before and after each tutorial session. He is very knowledgeable but also is willing to learn and adopt new methods that appear to suit better for my daughter in learning. Thanks to Neil’s teaching, my daughter has become more confident about math problems. Neil also has proved that teaching and learning online with an interactive whiteboard really works well.”

Sookyung, Mom of Y4 student from Hong Kong


Spend time to help develop a child’s curiosity

If there’s one thing more important than remembering facts or how to solve maths problems, it is curiosity.

A curious child will always be interested in things, in working things out and learning new things.

A tutor can help foster curiosity by using real-world applications for maths and setting homework which isn’t just 1/2 + 1/5, but is about people, things and the world around us.

When I set homework, what makes me the happiest is not a 100% score, it’s when a child says something like “I don’t know if I got the answer right, but I’ve been thinking about it and have figured out another way to solve it.”

That’s gold dust.

Staying Ahead of the Curriculum

One of the most useful ways to help your child at school is to get ahead of the curriculum. This means identifying what’s coming up at school next week and spending time preparing for it.

For example, if your child is going to start percentages next week, it is MASSIVELY useful to spend some time ahead of that week learning about percentages.

This way, once the child is learning percentages in class, they are not scared by it and in fact already know the basics, such as 50%, 25% and how to work out 10% of anything.

Get in Contact

If you’re interested in helping your child stay ahead of the curriculum for as little as 30 mins a week, please get in contact:

Practice Often and for a Short Period of Time

A child has to learn they best way to learn for themselves. A great place to start is with short but frequent and short study periods.

Many studies have shown that this approach works better then less frequent and longer sessions.

In addition to this, I suggest that frequent switching between subjects also helps with retention and has the side effect of keeping the child in question awake!

For example during a weekend or holiday, a great place to start would be something like this agenda:

EACH SESSION 45 MINS

9AM: Maths

10AM: English

11AM: History

1PM: Science

2PM: Modern Languages (e.g. German / Spanish)

3PM: Geography or ICT

Get in Contact

If you need help identifying specific maths topics which need help, or if you need further help or advice with study planning please get in contact:

The Year Long Intensive Preparation for the 11+ Starts Here

Time of Writing: August 2020.

Planning, discipline, strategy and tactics are all required to make the most of Year 5 and the summer holiday leading up to the 11+ exams which usually take place each September in the first or second week back to school.

My top advice is to combine past papers you can download, papers you can buy, and short one-page or ten-minute tests.

Doing exam paper practice is useful to help a child learn how long they have and how to pace themselves during the exam.

Doing papers you can buy is useful, but I would advise to photocopy them for your own use so your child can practice papers more than once.

Short one-page or ten-minute tests are useful to target specific areas that need help – e.g. ratio & proportion.

Finally, there’s online tuition which can help fix any gaps and give the child more confidence going into the exam.

Get in Contact

If your child needs help in general or with specific topics please get in contact:

Melbourne Online Maths Tutor Times

Online maths tutorial times for Melbourne are 15:00 to 22:00 seven days a week (depending on availability)

The Tutor Dragon is based in London and with is team able to deliver online maths tutorials in Melbourne from 15:00 to 22:00 seven days a week.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Tokyo Online Maths Tutor Times

Online maths tutorial times for Tokyo are 15:00 to 22:00 seven days a week (depending on availability)

The Tutor Dragon is based in London and with is team able to deliver online maths tutorials in Tokyo from 15:00 to 22:00 seven days a week.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

What’s the best way to keep up with Maths over the holidays?

Whether you’re staying at home or heading off somewhere on holiday, there are easy ways to keep up with Maths

It’s never easy persuading a child to get on with some maths whether you’re at home or away on holiday or with relatives.

The first and most important thing to do is manage expectation. Don’t spring a ten-minute maths paper on your child unexpectedly. Instead, agree and plan up front what will be done and when.

It is FAR BETTER to do a little each day than a lot once a week.

In that respect the ten-minute maths books are very useful – as are freely available maths worksheets such as Ninja Maths and Maths is Fun.

TRY THIS: Have a chat with your child making it clear that a reward such as screen-time can only happen once they’ve shown you a completed worksheet (e.g. from Ninja Maths).

Make it clear that they should do this every day – maybe with the exception of Sunday 😉

If you plan to have a mock exam at home, it is vitally important that you discuss this in advance with your child and agree a date and time in advance.

It is also important to make it clear that the marking process will take place after the mock-exam at which point the child is expected to re-try any questions which they did not answer correctly.

Also worth noting that bribery really works, so relating screen-time or some other reward works well up to a certain age.

If all this seems tough – remember this quote:

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Attributed to Eppie Lederer, the woman who wrote under the “Ann Landers” pseudonym in 1975.

Need Help?

Contact the Tutor Dragon for an initial free online tutorial:

How frequently should my child attend tutorials during the long summer holiday?

It is important for a child to continue maths work throughout long holidays with a combination of workbooks and tutorials

During the long summer holidays (and other such as Easter and Christmas) it is very important for a child to;

A) Work their way through workbooks, and;

B) Have regular tutorials to tackle any questions which could not be solved

The advantage of online tutoring is that a child can have a tutorial no matter where in the world they are, including on holiday. One a week is typically fine, or twice a week for children in UK Year 5 who will return to school and start their 11+ exams in the first week or so of Y6 as they also ramp-up for the Independent School Entrance Exams.

Summer maths camps are of use, but are typically focused on getting as many children to attend as possible which diminishes the value delivered to each child. In addition the homework is generic, whereas the homework from a tutor is targeted.

Workbooks are also of importance, assuming the parents have time to mark all the work and can offer advice on how to solve questions which the child cannot. This becomes more difficult in the first year or so of Secondary School when teenagers are tackling algebra and more advanced trigonometry.

Summary

Keep up the workbooks while on holiday and if you are interested please contact me for a free no-commitment tutorial session anywhere in the world:

Colouring-in shapes to understand fractions is a powerful way of learning

By far the best way for a child to learn fractions (and then decimals and percentages) is to actually draw then by colouring in shapes

Once a child has spent some DRAWING fractions they will have the confidence and ability to make the leap into numbers without the need to see shapes.

In an online tutorial I start with simple shapes and fractions – for example to colour in a half or a quarter of a rectangle broken down into four squares.

Once a child is used to this, they can SEE how to add 1/4 and 3/8.

Once a child has moved on from drawing fractions visually they can always go back to this method if they need to for more advanced geometry.

In an online tutorial a child has time to solve ten or more fractions by drawing them out, with which I will be assisting.

It can take as little as one or two sessions for the child to “click” how fractions work. You can almost hear it!

Contact the Tutor Dragon

Please contact me for your free introductory session: