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Get a Math Coach

10 Reasons Not To Get a Math Tutor, But Get a Math Coach

Is your child in need of some help succeeding in math? Many parents are all too familiar with how difficult math can be for children and young students. Rather than opting for a math tutor, you might find that a math coach is the better option.

But what is the difference between a math tutor and a math coach? A math coach is technically a math tutor– however, a math coach will not just help a student with a specific current homework problem or prep for an exam. Rather, a math coach will help students gain more confidence in mathematics and use proven strategies to help them develop math skills and knowledge needed for further success. 

In this guide, we’ll break down ten reasons why finding a math coach via TutorOcean to help your child improve their math skills is a fantastic idea. Once you’ve found the right math coach for your child, we bet that they will be able to catch up in school and get ahead in mathematics, ready to take on any challenge their school throws at them. Check out our ten reasons below!

Math Coaches: 10 Reasons to Ditch the Tutor and Hire a Coach

There are many reasons why a math coach could be a better option for your child as opposed to a math tutor.

1. Lack of Practice

Practice is the key to improving one’s skills in math. Unfortunately, many students are practicing enough outside of homework, class, and exams. In fact, a 2017 study found that only 40% of American fourth-grade students became proficient in their grade level in math. This can likely be attributed to a number of different causes, but a lack of practice is certainly one of them.

“NAEP achievement-level setting is based on the collective judgments of a broadly representative panel of teachers, education specialists, and members of the general public,” the Nation’s Report Card reads, “In 2017, 40 percent of fourth-grade students performed at or above the Proficient level on the mathematics assessment compared to 40 percent of students in 2015, the previous assessment year.”

The clear solution to this ongoing problem is to practice math on a regular basis, but this isn’t always feasible, especially for very young students.

A math coach will work closely with your child and help them build a study plan that makes sense and is doable for their specific age and math subject. Your coach will also keep in touch with your child on their study practices and encourage them to practice math outside of school more often, in addition to during coaching hours.

2. Misunderstanding of the Math Material

Misunderstanding math material is another big reason why children struggle with math. If your child becomes stuck on something difficult on their homework or during an in-class lecture, they might find it difficult to speak up and ask for help. This can be a significant issue when it comes to retaining mathematic knowledge in the long term.

A math coach will be able to go beyond what a traditional tutor can do when it comes to correcting misunderstandings in the learning process. A coach can help your child understand how each math concept works, correct potential misunderstandings, and give them the practice tools to remember various formulas. 

3. Lack of a Challenge

Many math students look at math as “hard” or “impossible,” rather than “challenging.” When a subject challenges a student, it is both interesting to them and exciting for them to tackle in the same way improving one’s skill at a hobby is exciting. Unfortunately, many students don’t find math exciting, interesting, or challenging.

The main culprit behind this has little to do with the student and more to do with the teaching method. Because American public school systems having very methodical processes in place for teaching math, many students simply don’t get exciting about a subject that should be interesting and challenging. 

A math coach will flip the script and get your child excited about math. Typically, math coaches will try a number of different approaches coupled with an energized attitude about math to spark your child’s interest.

4. Lack of Motivation

If your child has been struggling with math for some time, they may be tapped out at this point when it comes to motivation. If something is hard and boring, why would anyone be motivated to keep doing it, especially a child?

One of the big differences between a tutor and a coach is that a coach has a coaching mindset. Where many tutors will simply layout formulas the way a teacher would, a math coach is focused on motivating the student. Plus, the longer a student works with a coach, the more the coach can learn about the student’s own motivations: What they want out of math, what makes them dislike it, and what could get them excited about learning more.

5. Mismatched Learning Styles

As we mentioned previously, public schools employ very similar and cookie-cutter processes and methods for teaching math from kindergarten to 12th grade. Not every child learns the same way. Some prefer a more hands-on approach to learning, while others are more visual. If the learning style doesn’t match the teaching style, your student might find it difficult to enjoy math or be motivated to improve.

A math coach will work closely with your child to determine what their learning style actually is. With this valuable information in mind, they will develop a teaching plan based on how your child learns naturally.

6. Struggles with Test Scores

The main concern many parents have when it comes to their children’s math skills is test scores, and it certainly makes sense why. Test scores are a huge part of a student’s academic future. For parents that want to send their children to Ivy League schools in the future, the test scores they have during primary school and high school are of the utmost importance. In fact, this is one of the main reasons parents will seek out math tutors.

With reputable colleges becoming even more competitive, it’s important to ensure your child’s math scores are in good shape as soon as possible. A math coach can help your child prepare for upcoming tests, all while providing them with the learning tools they need to consider excelling in math.

7. Lack of Mathematics Confidence

While motivation and a lack of challenge are major reasons why children struggle with math, a lack of confidence can also be a major pain point. If your child has done poorly in math in the past, they might approach the subject with disdain and feelings of inadequacy.

When you employ a math coach, you’re employing someone who can understand how your child feels and the frustration that comes with not connecting with the material. Just as well, math coaches have all the excitement and positivity of a sports coach, ready to get your child pumped up about math. The goal is to get your child to see math as a fun challenge– not a signal of inadequacy.

8. Struggles Studying for the SATs and ACTs

Prepping for the SATs and ACTs is not fun. Many parents remember what it was like trying to study for these life-changing exams. It’s understandable if your child is a bit lost and afraid as exam season inches closer.

It is important to understand that a good SAT or ACT score is rarely the result of cramming or all-nighter studying. Rather, they are the result of a solid understanding of math concepts. Just as well, these exams include more basic math concepts as opposed to higher math concepts. A good foundation can make all the difference.

We recommend hiring a math coach as early as middle school to help your child tackle basic concepts and recall them with ease.

9. Lack of Access to Tips and Strategies

One of the best things about math coaches is the fact that they focus on tips and strategies, rather than rehashing what your child has been hearing from their teacher. No two students are the same when it comes to learning math, and a coach can offer the right tips that are easy to recall in the long term when your child is using their math skills.

10. Lack of Access to Summer Math Tutoring

Your child should definitely be enjoying the freedom of summer vacation, but it also doesn’t hurt to employ a math coach to tutor them during this time once or twice a week. With a three-month gap of absolutely no math, your child might struggle to catch up when school is back in session. Math coaches will keep your child on top of their skills, so that the next semester is a smooth one.

Are you ready to help your child succeed in math?

Check out TutorOcean’s Tutoring Marketplace today to find math tutors near you! Our global marketplace connects students with math coaches, as well as a wide range of other subjects. Our teachers and coaches are highly vetted and use a variety of tools and strategies to help students connect with mathematics.

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Jonathan is the VP Growth at TutorOcean. Jonathan previously worked at Klipfolio, Invest Ottawa, Irdeto and IBM. Jonathan is also the Co-Founder of STEAM Foundation who successfully launched a Kids Coding Camp helping inspire students early in their educational development. Jonathan is also an active startup advisor, giving back to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.

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