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Understanding Your Child's Math Journey (Ages 6-9)


The Magical Maths Years: Challenges and Triumphs

For parents of children aged between 6 to 9, watching your child navigate the world of mathematics can be a journey filled with mixed emotions. This age is a pivotal time for mathematical development, where concepts move beyond basic counting and sequencing to more abstract ideas. Understanding the challenges and experiences your child faces in learning math is crucial in providing the support they need.


The Challenges of Math Learning at This Age

1. Transition to Abstract Thinking

Around this age, many children transition from ‘concrete’ to ‘abstract’ mathematical thinking. This shift can be bewildering as they start dealing with concepts like fractions or basic geometry, which are not as tangible as counting objects. The priority for students at this age is that they develop an understanding of these concepts, but this can often be sacrificed in place of being able to answer test questions on each topic (which are not the same thing).

2. Maths Anxiety

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that maths anxiety can begin as early as age 6. This anxiety can stem often from a fear of making mistakes or not being able to keep up with peers.

3. Diverse Learning Paces

Each child learns at their own pace. Some may grasp concepts quickly, while others need more time and repetition. This variance can lead to frustration and a feeling of being left behind or having failed to meet the expectation of others. 


What Your Child is Experiencing

Imagine stepping into a world where familiar rules don’t always apply. For a child, the transition to abstract math is like exploring a new language with its own set of rules. It is now not just about finding the right answer, but also understanding the 'why' and 'how' behind it. This is arguably the most critical stage in a child’s learning and one that is too often sacrificed in schools in favour of test performance. The long-term implications can impact negatively on a child’s future performance in mathematics.


1. Confusion and Frustration

When faced with new concepts, children might feel overwhelmed. This can lead to frustration, especially if they are used to excelling in other subjects or earlier mathematical topics. Supporting them in making this important transition is critical for their future achievement in the subject.


2. Excitement and Curiosity

On the other side, this age is also when children can experience the joy of solving a problem or understanding a new concept. It is a time when their natural curiosity can be a significant asset in their learning journey. How teachers and tutors understand and meet this opportunity can also have a hugely important influence on a student’s future performance.


How We Can Help

Our vision at AA Education is to work with our families to provide the level of support that will make the world of difference to a child’s understanding of maths and their life-long performance in such a critical subject. We want to bring maths alive for our students so that they become confident and creative problem solvers. 


Emotional Support

Aside from a strong vision for understanding and inspiration a generation of future mathematicians, we also focus on providing our pupils, if necessary, with important emotional support. By normalising struggles, we teach our students that it is okay to find some things challenging and that struggling is sometimes an important part of learning. Alongside exceptional subject knowledge and teaching skills, our teachers will also celebrate your child’s efforts and not just their results: We will focus on the effort they put into solving problems, not just on whether they got the right answer.


Practical Support

Imagine stepping into a world where familiar rules don’t always apply. For a child, the transition to abstract math is like exploring a new language with its own set of rules. It is now not just about finding the right answer, but also understanding the 'why' and 'how' behind it. This is arguably the most critical stage in a child’s learning and one that is too often sacrificed in schools in favour of test performance. The long-term implications can impact negatively on a child’s future performance in mathematics.


1. We will help students to incorporate Maths into their daily lives by using everyday situations to discuss math. Cooking, shopping, and playing games can all involve math skills.


2. We will encourage problem-solving: Instead of giving answers we encourage our students to think through problems and ask questions like, “What do you think might come next?”


3. We will use and wide range of appropriate and innovative learning resources,  including educational apps and customised or tailor-made online resources. 



Conclusion

The journey through learning mathematics for children aged 6-9 is filled with challenges and important opportunities for growth. As parents, your understanding, patience, and support can make a significant difference in how your child perceives and engages with maths and we would like to partner with you to give the very best opportunity to flourish in this subject, whatever their ability or confidence.

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