When it comes to selecting a maths tutor for your child, there’s no shortage to be had. With so many to choose from, how do you make a good decision that will do right by your child and your pocket?
We’ve thought about what makes a good maths tutor. In fact, we built our business around it! Now we are sharing with you what we think are the key facts you should consider to choose a maths tutor for your child.
Formal Maths Qualifications
You’d think this would go without saying, but many parents rely on a relative to provide much-needed maths tuition informally. It may seem like a convenient option, but it could be doing more harm than good. If the relative doesn’t have the correct maths qualifications and is just relying on their memory of what maths was like in their time at school, you could be short-changing your child.
It makes sense to choose a maths tutor who is qualified and who has complete mastery in the topic and a strong formal background in maths. At the very least, you should expect them to have A Level maths when teaching younger children and a maths degree when teaching secondary school and college maths.
All the tutors at Matrix Math have degrees in Maths, Science or Engineering.
However, being an expert in a subject doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good teacher. You’ve probably found that out if you’ve tried to teach your own kids! Knowing a subject doesn’t mean you can teach it. Teaching any subject requires a distinct set of skills that have to be taught and learned. This includes having excellent communication skills and the ability to translate the topic taught into information the student can understand. Taking a student through a textbook isn’t teaching, and assuming they should have “got it” just because they’ve been introduced to “it” is false thinking.
The tutor you pick should have plenty of experience at teaching exactly the topics you’re your child needs to learn and have a proven track record at getting results. Ask the centre you choose if they regularly train their staff to keep them updated on the latest educational methods so that your child can be helped to master the material taught. When you choose a maths tutor, they need to be good teachers not just good at maths.
At Matrix Math, we have our own proprietary teaching method developed by our founder Jason Hiak, and staff undergo regular training to ensure everyone keeps up to date with the syllabus and the way we teach maths to our students.
Location and Availability
Having a tutor stationed a far distance from your home will only add stress to your child and their already busy day. If they have to spend a good portion of it travelling to and from their tuition centre, that’s valuable time wasted that they could be spending on extra study and their leisure activities, Something’s got to give.
So, make sure any tutor you choose means your child isn’t going too far out of their way just to get to class. When selecting a centre, it’s wise to go for a tuition company with centres in multiple locations so that you know there will be one not too far from home.
Some tutors may only be available at set times, so you need to make sure that works with you schedule and avoid moving your child’s day around to fit it in. Choosing a centre that offers online resources that your child can refer to out of hours is an added benefit as well.
Matrix Math centres are dotted around the island, so you will have access to one in your part of Singapore. In addition, we have an online training portal that your child has access to for free as one of our student perks, They’ll be able to practise exercises and get additional tuition through pre-recorded lessons any time at their convenience.
It’s an accepted fact in academic circles that students do well when they are able to get more personalised attention from their teacher in small classroom settings. So, when choosing a centre, ask about the student-teacher ratio. The smaller the classroom size the better, no matter your child’s age.
At Matrix Math, we keep our classes to a maximum of 6 students per teacher because we understand how important it is that our students get the individualised attention they need, especially as each child we enrol follows their own individual syllabus based on their personal knowledge strengths and gaps.
While we obviously believe that maths should be taught for understanding, as parents, your key concern is your child’s grades. Naturally you want your child to do as well as in their exams as their abilities will allow them. That’s why you should seek a maths tutor who is familiar with the present exam syllabus and examination papers.
The best way for your child to learn is through repeated practice, through homework assignments and in-class practice sessions so factor this into your decision when you come to choose a maths tutor.
Matrix Math tutors are all trained in teaching maths preparation based on the Singapore maths examinations and they regularly impart useful examination tips to our students. These tips can mean the difference between grades in some instances.
Choose a Math Tutor Offering The Right Pricing
While it’s natural to want to save costs where you can, your child’s education should not be compromised by price if you can help it. Compare centres and enquire about costs, but weigh up also the results that each centre has proven to deliver. You can expect to pay a little more for those with a proven track record. Centres need to be able to cover their costs, especially those with smaller student-teacher ratios. You can also expect to pay less for centre-based training as opposed to private tutoring. So, there are many factors to weigh up.
Ask also for payment options. You may be able to get a discount for paying for a certain duration up front rather than in instalments.
We hope this has given you food for thought in how to choose a maths tutor for your child and that this article has made the decision a little easier for you.
Contact us if you are in doubt and need some advice on whether Matrix Math is the centre for your child.