Learning math in school depends upon both memory and understanding. If a child is to advance his knowledge and understanding of mathematics, he has to go beyond simply memorizing the various formulae, principles and rules; rather, he must develop a true grasp of the underlying concepts of arithmetic and the process of solving problems. In the proper understanding of concepts of arithmetic, a child’s problem-solving ability reflects his perception and understanding of such concepts as size, order and quantity. When he correctly solves a problem, he does not merely quote something that he learned previously, but reveals his own understanding and grasp of the material, which flows from within himself.
Thus, the ability to understand mathematics potentially exists in every child in potential; we need only to lead him or her to actualize this ability.
We use the following tools to help the child form this connection:
- We have absolute faith in the child’s eventual grasp of mathematics.
- We convey this belief to the child openly and honestly.
- We identify the child’s strong points — where his thought processes flow and connect correctly – and use them to strengthen his weaker functions.
- We incorporate the totality of the child’s senses in the math exercises: such as touch, movement, hearing and sight.
- We relate to the totality of the child’s personality, and all areas of his life, both those associated with learning and those unrelated to it. This allows room for the child’s interests and experiences to enter the learning experience, which can positively affect his progress in overcoming his problem.
- We not only work on the child’s math ability, we work on his attitude to mathematics. We celebrate even the smallest degree of success in order to promote a change in the child’s attitude toward reading in general, and his perception of his own learning ability, specifically.
- We adjust ourselves to the child, in order to identify those topics and interests that can be integrated into a personalized learning method, to which we are exclusively suited.
- We act from a place of full confidence in the future success of the child’s learning ability, undeterred by any challenging situation, either due to our own abilities or the child’s ability.
- We strive to be creative, to be surprised, and to be flexible in use of various learning techniques, in order not to be limited to static and predefined patterns of thought and practice.
- We create a positive atmosphere: both the physical setting and the emotional one — smiling at the child, making him laugh, praising and empowering him, and placing him at the center of our attention. On the other hand, we demand that he invest himself in the process, and believe in his abilities.