Why do many children struggle with maths at school?
* It is not because they are less intelligent but because they have a DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLE that doesn’t match the traditional LEFT-BRAIN methods required by the traditional curriculum.
* Many of these children are RIGHT BRAIN DOMINANT or VISUAL-SPATIAL learners who have the wonderful gifts of the right brain. They can’t learn well through left-brain skills such as sequential step-by-step learning and the memorisation of facts, procedures and rules.
So how do these holistic, concrete thinkers, learn mathematics?
* Right brain or visual-spatial learners are equally as intelligent as their left-brain peers, but the right-brain learns in a completely different way to the left-brain.
* These are intuitive learners who, when they have understood concepts by learning in ways that match their right-brain skills, can very often see the big picture around a problem and get the answer, but can’t give you the steps on how they got there. This presents them with a problem in a left-brain system where showing their steps is all important.
* Visual-spatial learners are concrete learners. They need to understand what is happening in the maths and what it means. It needs to be relevant and make sense to them if the concept is to be stored in their long-term visual memories. When it is, they don’t forget.
* They need the TIME to SEE, VISUALISE, TOUCH, MANIPULATE, DISCUSS and EXPERIENCE maths concepts so that they can understand the whole concept, before they are ready to move on to work with abstract symbols.
* If they are not given the time they need to lay these foundations then they struggle more and more as they move from grade to grade.
* Maths is an abstract subject and right-brain, visual-spatial learners can’t get straight to the abstract.
Why is a strong foundation in maths so important?
* Maths is a hierarchy – a gradual build-up of concepts that become more and more abstract at each level.
* Learning maths is like building a wall. If some of the bricks (concepts) are loose or missing (not understood), the whole wall is weak and eventually starts crumbling.. This can start happening as early as the first year in school.
* It only gets worse because children will not understand any mathematical concept unless they have first understood the concepts lower down.
Why is our programme vital for grade 1-6 learners?
* Many of the important number concepts are introduced in the foundation and primary phases.
* We believe that the concepts taught in the foundation and primary phases are vital to the forming of a good maths foundation and that the curriculum often doesn’t allow the time for these learners to build a good foundation.
* We have chosen to support these children by helping them with the maths concepts they don’t understand, thus giving them more time to strengthen their foundation BY LEARNING IN THE WAY THAT THEY LEARN BEST.