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I have a cousin who is currently in Sec 2 NA. He seemed to have no interest in Maths and only scored 27/100 for his mid-year results. His mum is very worried and wants to engage a private tutor to pull up his grades so that he could at least pass his end of year exams.

I am wondering how to help him to gain interest in Maths so that he will be more motivated to study the subject.

I would appreciate any suggestions to help the poor boy and his distressed mother.

It depends on his learning style. If he is a kinesthetic learner, you can try to engage him by using flash cards or just create simple games to let him understand how the formulas work etc. If hes a visual learner, suggest him to visualise the image in his mind while solving the questions. If hes a auditory learner, he would learn better if theories and formulas are presented to him verbally. Regulating voice tone, inflection, and body language will help him maintain interest and attention. There are tons and tons of ways. But the most important is that he should have the desire to even do well for Maths in the first place. With the desire to do well, his interest for Maths will naturally increase. Maybe you can start by telling and making him realise the importance of Maths to let him have 'a reason' to do well for it. Hope this helps.

Well is he not good in Maths all along? Very Slow understanding of Maths Concept since primary school or even kindergarten. He could have dyscalculia.

However, he cannot drop the subject, the parent may be able to apply for exam time extension if he is diagnosed with dyscalculia but it will be reviewed by the school.
The extension time should be extra 15 mins or so.

He must be evaluated by a Psychiatrist which would require him to bring his report book.

You need to convince/encourage the parents to let the child go to psychiatrist. It is not the end of the world if the child has special needs.Nothing to be ashamed or disgraced, If he overcame the problem he will be normal again.

Having said that,the parents and the child must adopt effective learning strategies such as goal setting, once achieve a certain goal give small rewards to encourage him such as allowing more time for the child to do the things he loved etc. However the goal has to be realistic and achievable due to the fact if you set up unrealistic goals for him he would feel like throwing in the towel. Take progressive steps to increase the standard of the goal. do not discourage the child or use cane as a punishment.

He could go for school maths remedial if needed extra help.

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Last edited by diesopain; 18th September 2013 at 02:11 AM.

never liked maths since secondary school (possibly primary sch), had an E8 for my O-level EMaths.

Went to study engineering in poly, did well for my 4 semesters of Maths modules, however still unsure of whether I like Maths or not until now. I studied only because I felt it was my responsibility as a full time student, of course I wanted to do well academically. Up until now I still have my doubts/phobia of Maths. Perhaps I was bornt to dislike Maths? idk...

I hated Maths when I was in school, however, the best way to help yourself to learn Maths is by tuning your mind to like 'Maths', most often our apprehension is the result of not performing well, when you tune your mind to like Maths, you will easily find solving solutions to be an easy task.

Tell him without Math, there wouldn't be any money. Without any money, you can't buy much. I suggest telling him to treat math problem like money problems. I am the complete opposite of your friend and love math .

I used to take Maths for granted until I hit Rock Bottom in the O Level last year where I got a D7. Luckily, I was in 4NA so I got another chance to take Maths again this year. The failure I experienced made me gain an interest in Maths as I want to improve myself and not make the same mistake like last year.

My method, lie to urself that u are good in maths. Tell urself that u r Einstein. I believe mentality play an impt part. If u r someone who play football, tell urslf "Im beckham and im better than my frds". Keep psycho urself n like magic, ur skill will improve by a lot. im not sure whether its call self-fulfilling prophecy or what but it does work for me. Coz after psycho-ing urself, ur confidence level will increase. N difficult task will seems easy for u. If ur frd go into the exam hall and think "sian, sure fail. Anyhow do can liao". 100% he will fail with very devastating result. But if he had been psycho-ing himself that he is Einstein, most likely, his maths will improve somehow coz self-study would be more efficient by then. And it would be easilier to remember all those Formula. He would step into the exam hall n believe his maths is good, thinking "sure pass. Piece of cake. Im Einstein". Ya, maybe he would still fail but im sure that his mark will improve by quite a lot.

U might be laughing and think that im joking but i have witness and experience myself. My maths science at Sec 2-3 is E8, but i use this method and i score A1 for both in my O level. My science & maths become always "at least 85" in exam/test. My method is simple, i keep telling myself i LOVE maths & science. Keep telling urself that n 1 day u will really love them. Hope ur friend go try this method.