In 2020 15-year-old kiwi kids “recorded their lowest scores ever in the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)”, ranking 27th out of 79 for maths. This stat highlights how important it is to help your kids understand maths from the start, not just for NCEA maths revision. Creating a solid foundation in those very early stages not only builds confidence but helps to build actual mathematical ability.
Once upon a time, people could do rapid addition in their head, now we tend to let a computer work out our change for us. While technology is terrific (and used a lot in mathematics worldwide), being confident in numeracy translates to so many other areas of life and education.
Looking For Auckland Maths Teachers
From Year 0 right through to adult, maths is a subject that, try as we might, we can’t avoid. While a full-blown fear of maths is pretty rare, few of us are confident about our mathematical abilities.
For parents, this often leads to us worrying about how our kids will achieve in the subject. Looking through the Achievement Objectives for maths in the New Zealand Curriculum may not relieve that worry either.
Get in early and build solid foundations in maths
Many people don’t think to call in a maths tutor until they have an NCEA maths exam or a pre-qualification test on the horizon. However, the earlier you get in, the better your ability to build a solid mathematical knowledge foundation (and potentially the less tutoring you'll need).
It is surprisingly easy for kids to “slip through” the New Zealand education system – in fact, if you think about your own schooling, there are likely things that you managed to skip. Do you rely on the supermarket label to tell you the unit price of an item? How about working out what time you would arrive in Tauranga if you left Auckland at 1 pm? Identifying any gaps in your child’s knowledge is a positive start to building that strong foundation.
The right tutor makes a difference
Which leads to the problem of where do you go in Auckland to find a maths tutor? Kiwis love Facebook, so we will often find a high-school or grad student to help out.
However, being able to do something themselves doesn’t mean they can teach it – and this is one of the biggest challenges in finding the right tutor. Not only can they teach, but do they know what you or your child should know?
Let’s take a look at some of the more reputable tutoring specialists in Auckland.
Possibly one of the most frequently seen advertisements targeting school-aged learners is the professional tutoring franchise, Kip McGrath. They are focused on maths for primary and secondary school children. Like many of the maths tutoring agencies, they offer a free assessment to gauge your child's understanding.
Balancing computer learning with teacher backup
The Kip McGrath math program is computer-based, with trained teachers working with small groups of children. This method allows for one-on-one learning with backup by qualified people who can ensure that children understand the maths problems they are working on.
Their tutoring philosophy isn’t around turning out mathematical genius. The Kip McGrath philosophy is around developing kids who are confident with their ability with numbers – maybe even turning maths into a favourite subject.
Auckland Math Tutors
The Auckland Math Tutors seem focused on helping students get through their NCEA with flying colours. However, they hire qualified primary and secondary school teachers well-versed in the NZ maths curriculum.
AMT works on a principle of private tuition but does offer the occasional small group class. This means that prices may fluctuate depending on your location relative to your preferred tutors’ location.
In-home private study
With the private tuition, tutors can work one-on-one with students to develop a strong relationship and ensure that they are learning what they need. Having an individual tutor/ working within your own home can also mean siblings or close friends can benefit from the same tutorage.
Another thing that the maths tutors at Auckland Math Tutors can help with is adult pre-entrance examinations. This could include the competency tests for entrance into the Police, Fire Service, or New Zealand Military services.
Superprof Maths Tutors
International tutoring website Superprof has (currently) close to 100 maths tutors available in Auckland, each with unique skills and specialities. The individual approach provides the ability to select someone who will suit your child's individual needs. This system could mean choosing an educator experienced in teaching within the deaf community or an Undergrad student wanting to help your kid pass NCEA with confidence.
One of the advantages of Superprof tutors flexibility to fit around the sporting and cultural activities most kiwi kids are involved in. The tutors can come to you (or a location such as your school or public library).
Finding the right fit with personality and knowledge
Not all Superprof tutors in Auckland have trained as teachers. However, the review and biography system makes it simple to see who will be a good fit for your child before you sign up for classes that they might loathe.
In 2013, founders Yann Leguillon and Wilfried Granier created a platform to provide safe and secure connections between tutors and tutees. They also ensured it was easy to use. Meeting these needs meant Superprof has now expanded to over 35 countries worldwide. The global nature allows you to expand your search to find an online tutor if you have more specific needs that aren't met locally.
Another well-known New Zealand tutoring franchise is Number Works. In Auckland alone, there are 11 branches.
Number Works prides itself on catering for kids struggling with maths or kids who are simply lacking confidence. They also work with kids who have already mastered the maths syllabus for their age group and need more.
Like other tuition options, Number Works is computer-based education that is backed up by trained maths tutors. This ensures that any gaps in a child’s knowledge are picked up and filled in. The computerised system makes it very easy for parents to track progress and understand exactly what their kids are learning.
Use it or lose it philosophy
They also have a strong emphasis on maintaining maths skills over the long New Zealand Christmas holidays. Most schools in the country find themselves starting back from point zero at the start of each year, simply to see where kids are at and how much they’ve forgotten over the holiday.
We see a big push from different sectors to keep kids reading over the holidays. Yet maths also needs to be practised, or the knowledge will be quickly lost (just ask an adult to recite their time's table after not using it for a few years).
Number Works tends to focus on kids aged 5 – 16 and can help with NCEA exam prep work. However, adult pre-assessment education or higher university level mathematics is outside the general scope.
A point of pride for the company is that it provides ongoing professional development and training for their staff (and they have employees, not freelance contractors). They are also not only able to help students to create a study schedule ahead of NCEA exams but help to unlock the mental hurdles that cause many people (kids and adults alike) to freak out at exam time – no matter how much they’ve studied.
Expert Maths Tuition
Sonia Tosha started expert Maths Tuition in 2002 and now has five locations across Auckland. The general approach with EMT tutors is one-on-one with a passionate maths tutor trained in their particular approach to the subject.
Of course, as all other tuition mentioned, the first step is to assess your child's understanding of maths. From there, the tutors can create a strategy that will cater to each child’s needs.
Not just understanding numbers but becoming passionate about them
The EMT focus seems to be less on ensuring that the kids can complete the tasks they get given at school and more on developing a real passion for the subject in each child they tutor. They hire passionate and enthusiastic tutors, and that excitement for numbers rubs off as the kids improve their understanding of maths.
While Expert Maths Tuition is also primarily focused on 6-16 years, they also run tuition for international maths examinations. The major international exams are Maths CIE (Cambridge International Examinations A and AS Levels), SAT or ACT (for entrance into USA Ivy League colleges), and the Maths IB (International Baccalaureate).
One of the reasons that Founder and Principal Teacher, Sonia, became so impassioned about tutoring kiwi kids in mathematics was the poor numeracy rates in New Zealand.
Who are you looking for?
No matter what level of maths you are at, you need a tutor who has the skills and qualifications to teach at that level. They need to have the knowledge and ability to teach maths. Perhaps most importantly, the tutor who uses a method of teaching that works for you and your child.