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Updated: Mar 4

Could your child be lacking this fine quality that makes him or her eligible to success in improving math abilities? Hint: it’s not intelligence.

For children to improve math skills, they need the right attitude.

Kids get bored. They get stumped when trying to solve math problems. They give up trying when facing difficult test questions. They walk out on the subject entirely thinking there’s no way they can improve.

“Good mathematics is not about how many answers you know. It’s how you behave when you don’t know.”

While we can exist between the realms of practice and IQ, alternative studies have shown other causal factors affecting our young and their ability to solve math problems.

The old adage goes, math is all about practice. And these 5 tips to improve PSLE math problem solving skill. Nonetheless, attitude is the core of the problem and also the solution. So, If you want to enhance your kid’s math-solving ability, start by correcting the attitude towards the subject.


Attitude by common definition, is the liking or disliking of something or someone.

Kids were born curious; they were born eager to learn. But when expectations rise along with the subject’s difficulties, they simply can’t cope with the spikes in their learning curve.

Several reasons leading to poor attitude towards math:

  • Mindset towards repeated failures

  • Viewing math as a useless subject

  • Going through math subject without fully understanding the purpose of math

  • Parents’ and teachers’ emphasis on school grades

These combined with grade comparison and pressure from parents and teachers, you can’t really blame kids for their lack of interest in math. It could dampened the spirits of our brilliant children with the urge to learn, forcing them to push forward blindly for the sake of their grades.


To practice is to err. If your child suffers from mathematics anxiety, he or she probably finds it hard to understand the beauty behind making mistakes. A child can be convinced that these mistakes define who they are and they were born without a brain for math.

If practice is what improves one’s understanding of math, it’s the attitude towards mistakes that encourages repeated mistakes to occur. When no mistakes is made, kids will never improve their math skills.

With the world ever so focused on grades, it’s natural a kid’s willingness and confidence towards confronting math questions get undermined. That’s when mistakes are doomed to repeat.

Mistakes are essentially the modern boogeyman. And think about it carefully: it’s a vicious cycle. As a parent, you don’t want it to happen. You certainly also wouldn’t want the lack of willingness and confidence to bleed into other areas of learning. 

Help your kid open their arms to mistakes. Talk to them about your attitude towards making mistakes. Letting your kid knows that you’re on the same page as he or she do is unquestionably a confidence booster.

Making rooms for mistakes and allocating time for corrections is also necessary to master their math skills. Your child can then understand what their mistakes are and grow more interest in devising new strategies to tackle problems.

If you’re a busy parent, you might want to consider a private tutor. An experienced tutor can guide your child to reflect on their strategies, which can help your kid to train their brain to see things in other perspectives, and in turn, brush up on their math skills.


But wait, it shouldn’t stop here. Don’t allow your child to rest on their laurels once they’ve mastered the technique of solving math questions. Spur their enthusiasm for new knowledge.

Learning is an ongoing process and the correct attitude is to always embrace challenges. We, as parents (including teachers), ought to raise our child with grit. Start with raising our expectations and provide opportunities for challenges. However, avoid using grades as a benchmark for success.

You can consider your child’s level of interest in math, time spent engaging the subject and quality of answers presented etc. to set a new math-improving goal for them.

Always challenge your young kids with new opportunities to learn. Set reasonable benchmarks whenever you think the time is right. And it’s also important to make a commitment to never lower expectations. Instead, find new ways to reach the next milestone of boosting their math abilities.


Last but not least, as adults we have a big part to play when it comes to reinforcing a kid’s comprehension of math. As parents, showing support in your child’s development of math skills is mandatory.

After all, children who are encouraged while learning fare better than children who don’t. And parents who are involved in their kid’s learning process make better judgements on their child’s well-being than parents who don’t.

If you feel that you might need some more assistance, engage an after-school tutor. You kid can attempt new questions during school or free time, and a tutor can attend to corrections and discussions. This way, your little one can build confidence towards improving their math abilities instead of always relying on their tutors for answers.


A child’s primary school years are the most crucial in the development of their attitude towards not just enhancing their math skills, but to learning as well. These are the times that our children will be exposed to the increasing demands of school education and the segregation of their likes and dislikes.

Other than some unconventional way to improve math skills, making necessary changes to a child’s attitude towards mathematics and their applications is key. Let them learn from mistakes, and face new challenges, and they’ll learn to love the subject and approach math with confidence.

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