Having some trouble getting your child to learn maths? Our Maths expert, Lau Chin Loong from Seriously Addictive Mathematics shares some useful math secrets.

1. Study Smart, Not Study Hard

Understanding root concepts is very important. For example, 7 x 6 is 7 groups of 6 objects within each group. It is not just about memorising the multiplication table. Understanding the root concepts enables your child to figure out his own answers even if they forget the multiplication table. Singapore Maths questions are usually non-routine and it challenges your child’s mind in different ways. Remember – the process is more important than the product.

2. Demonstrate Ideas With Concrete Examples

Questions involving less than or more than in problem sums, for example, can be quite confusing for some children. You can demonstrate these ideas more clearly by using objects such as little bears or counting cubes. For example, 3 more than 4 – place 4 bears on the table in a line, then add 3 more bears slowly to demonstrate ‘more than’. Instead of memorising the answer 7, your child can see for themselves what 3 more than 4 actually means.

3. Take Sufficient Time And Care To Read The Question

Children often fail to understand what the question is asking because they tend to read the question incorrectly, which is different from not understanding the question.

Singapore Maths is more than just about numbers as it requires a significant amount of language processing. It is important for children to build on their language skills in order to read questions correctly.

4. Learn In Small Incremental Steps

Because Singapore Maths places great emphasis on conceptual understanding, practising in daily bite-sized chunks of homework is better than cramming all work into a single torturous day. Let your child learn in small incremental steps or knowledge that they can build upon, day by day. Over time, a much stronger Mathematical foundation can be built this way.

5. Use Real World Examples As Stories

If you think about it, mathematics is everywhere. For example, to illustrate what 1/4 means, you can tell a story about 4 children wanting to share a birthday cake. What do we do? What if there are 8 children who want to share the same cake? Will each child get more or less cake?

Children learn better when they can see mathematics being applied in the real world.

By Lau Chin Loong

Co-founder of Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M), he is also the lead mathematics curriculum developer for S.A.M and the principal trainer for the franchise. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dalhousie University (Canada) and has an MBA from Leicester University (UK). He also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from NIE (NTU). Before co-founding S.A.M, he was a primary school teacher. He has taught at Swiss Cottage Primary School and Anglo-Chinese School (Barker). Chin Loong was in consumer banking at the United Overseas Bank prior to joining M.O.E. as a teacher.

Have another Math question for our expert? Drop your question in the comment box below!

For videos on Bar Modelling, visit Math Made Easy with S.A.M.

Seriously Addictive Mathematics In A Nutshell

SAM is an award-winning Maths program based on the Singapore Maths syllabus, suitable for children from 4 to 12 years of age. The program is delivered through a combination of Worksheets learning as well as Classroom learning. Students learn Singapore Maths at their own pace, according to their own ability. The unique program is rapidly gaining popularity with parents in Singapore as well as in other countries like Malaysia, Thailand, India and the United States.