One of my biggest frustrations—and
you see this all the time on the inter-
net—is when teachers take 15 minutes to
explain something. It’s so boring it could
send a whole army to sleep. Far better,
and this is the method I prefer, is to teach
the concept in 4 minutes, and get the kids
to practice it for the next 11 minutes.
Same 15 minutes. But this time around,
the kids have actually learned something.
TOS: Sometimes, no matter how we may
try, we inevitably make mistakes when we
are trying to teach our children math (or
anything for that matter.) Could you identify some things for us to avoid doing?
Patrick: Terrific question Heather, I
get asked this a lot. There are five most
crucial mistakes teachers make over and
over again. Some may already be obvi-
ous to your readers; the rest, I submit to
you, will become obvious when they start
avoiding them. (See Sidebar titled, “Five
Most Crucial Mistakes Teachers Make”)
TOS: Do you think learning online for
adults and children seems a little less intimidating or embarrassing? How can it
Patrick: It’s human nature; we often do
get a little embarrassed when we don’t
know something we think we should
know, or that others already know. And of
course nobody understands everything
they’re shown the first time. So to have
the ability, with video lessons, where you
can stop and rewind the teacher, where
you can have something explained to you
as many times as you need to so you can
understand it well—this is very powerful.
And then immediately after watching a
concept presented, you can do a variety
of questions and get instant feedback;
there’s a huge amount of benefit there.
And we are seeing an ever-increasing
number of adult learners becoming in-
volved, many saying they are enjoying
math for the first time in their lives!
TOS: Patrick, we appreciate you sharing
some of your math knowledge with us.
Could you offer our readers a final word
Patrick: I appreciate the difficulty parents have teaching math, particularly
if math isn’t one of their favorite subjects. The one thing I would advise is
to remember that your kids are all special; they all have different talents. Even
amongst my own kids, when it comes to
math, some are fantastic and really love
it, others are not so good and don’t like it
much at all. So it’s important to set goals
which are realistic. If you do this, I think
you can avoid a lot of frustration.
Heather Mader lives in a household full of
music with her husband and 4 children.
“Have Faith, Have Fun” is their motto. She
loves to encourage homeschooling families
to heed the Lord’s leading in every aspect of
life, love, and education. Heather also loves
to bring stories to life as a voice over artist,
which is handy for family read-alouds.
Pat Murray is internationally recognised
as a pioneer in the Online Education field.
Using techniques developed over 24 years
teaching across all levels, Pat specialises
in creating video math tutorials which
are concise, easy to understand and effective. He has appeared numerous times on
national TV and his programs have been
featured on television, in newspapers and
in magazines. Since 2009, his programs
have been integrated into the curriculum
of more than 720 schools across Australia,
the United States, New Zealand and the
UK. Pat lives in Sydney, Australia with
his wife Maree and their ten children ( 9 of
which are still at home!)
“It is imperative students rote learn their times-tables so they can recall the facts
instantly—not in three seconds, not in five seconds, instantly!”