Operational Sense

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Tutoring Program For Your Child

Education serves as the cornerstone of a child’s future, laying down the foundation upon which their personal and professional lives will be built. In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, the academic pressures faced by children have escalated significantly. These pressures stem from the desire to excel academically and the need to acquire a diverse skill set that prepares them for the complexities of the future job market. As a result, traditional classroom education, while still crucial, is often found to be insufficient in catering to the individual learning needs of each student. This gap has led to the rise of tutoring programs as critical support systems, transitioning from being considered a luxury to becoming an essential component of the educational ecosystem.

The Benefits Of Tutoring

Tutoring programs offer a range of benefits that can significantly enhance a child’s learning experience. They provide personalized attention and tailored instruction that addresses the specific weaknesses and strengths of the student, something that is difficult to achieve in the more generalized environment of a classroom. Furthermore, these programs can introduce advanced concepts at a pace that suits the learner, fostering a sense of confidence and instilling a love for learning. They also prepare students for various standardized tests, further improving their prospects for higher education and beyond.

However, as the demand for supplementary education grows, so does the complexity of the tutoring landscape. Parents and guardians are now faced with an overwhelming array of options, ranging from one-on-one tutoring and group sessions to online platforms that offer interactive learning experiences. Each of these formats has its unique advantages and caters to different learning styles and needs.

Selecting the ideal tutoring program thus becomes a daunting task, requiring careful consideration of several factors. The following are the top 5 questions we believe are most important to ask when choosing the best tutor for your child.

1. What Type of Academic Support Does Your Child Require?

The initial phase of selecting the most appropriate tutoring program for your child involves a comprehensive assessment of their educational needs. This step is crucial as it lays the groundwork for making an informed decision that would best support your child’s learning journey. Understanding whether your child faces challenges in specific subject areas, such as mathematics, science, English, or history, or whether they require a more holistic approach to their studies, including homework assistance and the development of effective study skills, is essential.

Tailored Support

For children who struggle with particular subjects, tailored tutoring programs can be incredibly beneficial. These programs focus intensely on one subject area, employing specialized tutors who possess a deep understanding and expertise in that field. For instance, if a child finds math concepts difficult to grasp, a math-specific tutor can provide targeted strategies and explanations to help overcome these challenges. This focused approach allows for a deep dive into the subject matter, enabling the child to build a strong foundation and confidence in the subject.

Tailored tutoring is also advantageous for students who excel in their general coursework but seek to advance further in a specific academic field. Whether preparing for competitive exams, pursuing a passion, or aiming for college-level courses, specialized tutoring can offer the rigorous and focused instruction needed to achieve these goals.

Generalized Support

On the other hand, some children might not have trouble with a specific subject but could benefit from a more generalized tutoring approach. This includes students who need help managing their homework across various subjects, developing effective study habits, or improving time management and organizational skills. Generalized tutoring programs are designed to cater to these needs, offering a broader scope of support that encompasses multiple subject areas and essential academic skills.

These programs often employ tutors who are versatile and can guide students through different types of coursework while focusing on improving overall academic performance. They teach valuable study techniques such as note-taking, active reading, test-taking strategies, and critical thinking, which are transferable skills beneficial across all subjects and grade levels.

Assessing Your Child’s Needs

Determining whether your child requires tailored or generalized support involves careful observation and possibly consultations with their teachers. It’s important to identify not just where they are struggling but why. For example, a child struggling in science may actually need help with reading comprehension, which is affecting their ability to understand science texts. In such cases, a more generalized program that improves reading skills could inadvertently boost their performance in science.

Furthermore, consider your child’s learning style and preferences. Some children might thrive under the structure and focused attention of specialized tutoring, while others could benefit more from the variety and holistic approach of generalized support.

2. What Is the Qualification of the Tutors?

The core of any tutoring program’s success lies in the quality and competence of its tutors. The impact a tutor can have on a student’s academic journey is profound, influencing not only their current understanding and grades but also their long-term educational outcomes and attitudes towards learning. Thus, when evaluating tutoring programs, it’s essential to look into the qualifications, experience, and teaching methods of the tutors involved.

Credentials and Experience

Academic Qualifications

A tutor’s academic background provides a foundational understanding of the subject matter they teach. Ideally, tutors should possess a degree in the subject area they are tutoring or in education. This ensures they have a comprehensive grasp of the content and are well-prepared to address complex topics.

Teaching Experience

While academic credentials are critical, practical teaching or tutoring experience is equally vital. Experience equips tutors with the skills necessary to effectively communicate complex concepts in understandable ways and adapt their teaching strategies to meet the diverse needs of students. Inquire about the length and scope of the tutors’ experience, including the age groups and subjects they’ve taught, to gauge their ability to handle the specific educational challenges your child faces.

Assessing Tutor Competence

When considering a tutoring program, don’t hesitate to ask for detailed information about the tutors’ qualifications and experiences. Request references or testimonials from previous students or parents, which can provide insights into the tutors’ effectiveness and the impact they’ve had on other students’ learning outcomes. If available, observing a trial tutoring session can also offer a firsthand look at the tutor’s teaching style and interaction with students.

3. What Methodologies and Technologies Does the Program Employ?

The modern-day tutoring realm is replete with a variety of methodologies and technologies that aim to enhance the learning experience. Be sure to comprehend the instructional approach and the tools used by the program.

Personalized Curriculum and Technology Integration

Does the program use a curriculum that aligns with your child’s school’s curriculum, ensuring continuity and support for in-class concepts? Additionally, consider if the program utilizes effective online platforms, analytics, and AI tools for tracking your child’s progress and improving learning outcomes.

Beyond credentials and experience, a tutor’s method of teaching plays a significant role in their effectiveness. These include:

  • Understanding of Learning Styles: Each student has a unique way of learning, whether it’s visual, auditory, reading/writing-preference, or kinesthetic. Effective tutors are adept at identifying and adapting to individual learning styles, ensuring that their teaching methods resonate with the student.
  • Engagement Strategies: The ability to keep students engaged and motivated is crucial. Look for tutors who employ interactive and dynamic teaching techniques that make learning enjoyable and stimulating.
  • Customization and Flexibility: The hallmark of an excellent tutor is their ability to tailor lessons to the student’s specific needs and be flexible in their approach. They should be capable of adjusting their teaching methods based on the student’s progress and feedback.
  • Empathy and Patience: Tutors should possess a high degree of empathy and patience, creating a supportive and positive learning environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and expressing difficulties.

4. Will the Tutoring Program Fit with Your Family’s Schedule and Budget?

When selecting a tutoring program, logistical considerations such as scheduling and budgeting play a significant role in determining the viability of the commitment. A tutoring program might tick all the boxes in terms of educational quality and tutor competence, but if it doesn’t align with your family’s schedule or financial capabilities, it may not be the right fit. Let’s delve deeper into these practical aspects.

Session Scheduling

Mode of Delivery

The mode of tutoring delivery is one of the first logistical aspects to consider. In today’s educational landscape, tutoring programs often offer a variety of formats, including in-person sessions, online tutoring, or a hybrid approach that combines both. Each of these formats has its advantages and considerations. For instance, online tutoring provides greater flexibility and can save commuting time, while in-person sessions may be more effective for students who benefit from face-to-face interaction. Assessing your child’s learning preferences alongside your scheduling constraints will help you decide on the most suitable format.

Timing and Frequency

Equally critical is the scheduling of the tutoring sessions themselves. This includes not just the time of day the sessions are offered, but also their frequency and duration. It’s important to find a balance that fits within your child’s existing commitments—such as school, extracurricular activities, and family time—without leading to burnout. A tutoring program that offers a range of scheduling options can provide the necessary flexibility to accommodate busy calendars. Additionally, the duration of sessions should be long enough to allow for meaningful progress, yet not so long that they become counterproductive due to diminishing attention spans.

Financial Planning

Understanding Costs

The cost of tutoring is a major consideration for most families. Before committing to a program, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of all the expenses involved. This includes not only the hourly rate or package pricing for the tutoring sessions but also any additional costs such as registration fees, materials, or supplementary support services. Some programs may include workbooks, online resources, or access to specialized software as part of their fees, which can add value to the service provided.


Once you have a detailed breakdown of the costs, compare them against your budget to assess affordability. Consider the long-term commitment required to see significant academic improvement, as tutoring is often not a quick fix but a gradual process. Some tutoring programs offer payment plans or discounts for purchasing multiple sessions upfront, which can make financial planning easier.

5. What Support Services Does the Program Offer Beyond Tutorials?

In the quest for a tutoring program that aligns with the holistic development of a child, it’s essential to look beyond traditional academic tutoring. Education is a multifaceted endeavor that encompasses not just the mastery of subject matter but also the development of critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, and lifelong learning habits. Therefore, a comprehensive tutoring program should offer an array of resources and encourage parental involvement to support the student’s overall growth.

Additional Resources

A well-rounded tutoring program will often provide supplementary resources that enhance the learning experience. These can include:

  • Progress Reports: Regular, detailed reports on a student’s progress are invaluable for tracking their academic journey, identifying areas of improvement, and celebrating achievements. These reports can help tailor future tutoring sessions to address specific needs.
  • Access to Libraries or Online Materials: Quality educational materials can significantly enrich a student’s learning. Tutoring programs that offer access to libraries, online databases, e-books, or proprietary learning materials can provide students with a wealth of information that complements their tutoring sessions.
  • Extra Support Services: Certain milestones in a student’s academic career, such as standardized tests or college applications, can benefit from targeted support. Programs that offer specialized services for test preparation, essay writing, or application guidance can be particularly beneficial during these critical times.

Parental Involvement

The role of parents in a child’s education cannot be overstated. A tutoring program that values and facilitates parental involvement can make a significant difference in a student’s success. Consider the following when evaluating a program’s stance on parental involvement:

  • Regular Meetings: Programs that schedule regular meetings with parents to discuss the child’s progress, challenges, and achievements foster a collaborative environment. These meetings are opportunities to adjust tutoring strategies, set goals, and ensure that the tutoring aligns with the child’s needs.
  • Open Communication: Look for programs that encourage open communication between tutors, students, and parents. Being able to reach out to tutors with questions or concerns and receiving timely responses can enhance the support system around the student.
  • Parental Engagement: Some programs may offer workshops or resources to help parents better support their child’s learning at home. This could include strategies for helping with homework, fostering a positive learning environment, or understanding educational psychology.

By prioritizing these aspects, parents and guardians can select a tutoring program that goes beyond mere academic tutorials to support the child’s holistic growth. Such a program not only aids in academic achievement but also equips the child with the skills and mindset needed to navigate future challenges successfully. In essence, by choosing a comprehensive tutoring program, parents invest in their child’s ability to turn the pressures of today’s academic environment into opportunities for tomorrow’s success.

A Significant Decision

Choosing the right tutoring program for your child is a significant decision. By answering these five crucial questions, you can ensure that you pick a program that not only addresses your child’s academic needs but also provides a supportive, enriching, and enjoyable learning experience.

Be diligent in your research, ask for referrals, and involve your child in the selection process where possible. Remember, the right tutoring program should not only help your child through educational challenges but should also inspire a love for learning that extends far beyond the program’s duration.

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Learn Math

Where To Find Percentages In Everyday Life

From fractions to decimals, math concepts can be daunting for children at any age. However, as parents, you can help your child feel more confident in their math skills by introducing them to percentages and showing them that they’ll use it in all aspects of their lives – not only in math class. 

By exploring the world around them and taking a closer look at daily situations, children can start to see how percentages are an essential part of almost everything they do – from buying groceries with discounts and understanding interest rates on savings accounts, percentage literacy is essential for becoming financially literate.

Today, we’ll go into why learning about percentages is so important for your child’s development  – and explore some easy ways that kids can learn about percentiles right from everyday life!

Where To Find Examples

We are bombarded with advertisements that boast discounts and sales whenever we shop. However, it can be difficult for children to understand the actual value of these discounts. This is where percentages come in handy. 

For example, if a toy is on sale for 20% off its original price of $10, children can use percentage calculations to determine the new price. 20% of $10 equals $2, so the new price would be $8. This skill can help children understand the true value of a discount and make informed purchasing decisions.

Getting children involved in baking is another great way to help teach them percentages. They will be more likely to want to participate since there is a delicious reward at the end! Whether doubling a recipe or converting between metric and imperial measurements, percentages can help make the process smoother when following a recipe. Have your child help you read the recipe while following along to make sure they understand the measurements. 

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, you could ask them to double the recipe. So, they would need to use 200% of the original amount. This means they would need to use 2 cups of flour. Understanding percentages can also help children convert units of measurement, such as converting 50 grams to ounces or 1 litre to millilitres.

Sports are full of percentage-based statistics that can be used to track progress and compare performance. Children who play sports or follow professional teams can quickly see that percentages are used when talking about statistics. 

For example, if a basketball player makes 5 out of 10 free throws, they have a shooting percentage of 50%. Similarly, a baseball player with a batting average of .300 has a success rate of 30%. 

These statistics can help children understand the importance of consistency and help them set goals for improvement in their own sport. Once they know how important percentages are in sports, they will quickly want to learn more about them!

The age of the child may determine how far into finance you can get, but it is never too early to start learning about money! Understanding percentages is essential for financial literacy. From calculating interest rates to understanding credit card debt, percentages play a crucial role in managing money. 

For example, if a credit card has an interest rate of 18%, children can use percentage calculations to determine how much interest they would owe on a $100 purchase over the course of a year. 18% of $100 equals $18, so they would owe $118 in total. This skill can help children make informed financial decisions and avoid debt as they become adults. 

Mathematics can be a daunting subject for many young students, but the topic of probability offers an exciting opportunity to explore the world of numbers and statistics. Understanding probability not only builds a foundation for more complex math concepts but also has practical applications in everyday life, such as predicting the likelihood of certain outcomes. 

For example, if a coin is flipped, there is a 50% chance that it will land on heads and a 50% chance that it will land on tails. Similarly, if a die is rolled, there is a 16.67% chance that it will land on any given number.

Many children enjoy learning about probability because it involves games, challenges, and real-life scenarios that spark their curiosity. By incorporating probability into math lessons, educators and parents can create a fun and engaging learning experience that helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Providing Real-Life Examples

According to recent research, providing real-life examples can make all the difference when it comes to learning math. Rather than simply memorizing equations and math concepts, children can better grasp the practical applications of math when they see it at work in the world around them. Whether it’s measurements in a recipe, calculations for taxes, or geometrical shapes in architecture, these everyday scenarios offer a tangible context for math that students can readily connect with. By bringing math to life in this way, educators and parents can help students retain knowledge more effectively and develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the subject itself.

At Dropkick Math Academy, our approach to teaching mathematics is to make it both enjoyable and relatable for children. We believe that learning math should not be a daunting task but rather an exciting adventure. Through the use of real-life examples, we help our learners understand and appreciate the importance of math in their everyday lives. 

Our game-based learning platform is designed to help children develop math literacy and increase self-confidence in their ability to tackle math problems. At Dropkick Math Academy, we are passionate about providing a positive and engaging experience for every child to learn math.

Learn more about our math learning techniques and how we stand out from other math tutoring companies today! 

Learn Math Number Sense

3 Strategies For Teaching Number Sense To Children

Teaching young children number sense is essential when it comes to helping them develop a strong foundation in math. As an adult, you might take for granted the years of practice and repetition that enabled your current mastery of numbers – but for kids just starting out on their journey towards math literacy, a solid understanding of ‘number sense’ techniques can provide major breakthroughs. After all, knowing how to compare quantities, recognize patterns and make predictions is required before we can even begin problem-solving! In this blog post, we’ll be exploring three key strategies for getting your little ones on the fast track toward becoming confident mathematicians and offer some guidance for math tutoring choices if needed. 

Everyday Life

Children are exposed to many mathematical concepts in their everyday life from an early age without even realizing it. From picking the biggest piece of cake at a birthday party to understanding the basis of addition when they ask for one more story at bedtime, kids grasp number sense and form concrete understandings of mathematical ideas. 

To help them make those connections even deeper, parents and caregivers can provide engaging activities and incorporate creative methods such as using manipulatives or games. That way, number sense will become second nature to young kids so that they will have solid foundations upon which more complex mathematics can be built by the time they enter school.

Look For Math Around You

One of the best ways to help children learn number sense is by sharing examples of how numbers appear in everyday life and activities. Through simple activities such as counting out snacks when packing lunch or comparing prices at the store, parents and teachers encourage students to see numbers as a practical tool rather than a number being some abstract concept or boring syllabus. Through your own examples, illustrating how number sense helps them make decisions and navigate life, you can create a connection that motivates your child and helps them understand why it’s so essential to have number sense. Once kids recognize number sense’s real-world relevance, they are far more open to learning about math.

Acknowledging children when they are applying mathematical concepts to their daily lives can be a great way to get them excited about math. Whether it’s as simple as counting or comparing sizes, kids can see how applicable it is in their world. If you notice your child solving problems with numbers, articulate that to them by saying something like, “You sure know a lot about numbers!” or “You’re comparing lengths. That’s amazing math!” Show kids that math is relevant and fun, and that alone will build up their self-confidence and help them view themselves as mathematicians.

Focus On The Process

Practicing counting is a cornerstone learning activity and can help kids learn one-to-one correspondence – or matching each object to the numbers being said. For optimal learning, allow kids to work independently. Give them large groups of objects and let them practice their counting skills in a self-guided environment. This helps build confidence while they are learning this important concept.

Working with addition and subtraction can be challenging for young children, but introducing math manipulatives can make the learning process easier. Manipulatives are concrete objects such as counting cubes or linking blocks that can help solve basic addition and subtraction problems. Allowing your child to explore and experiment with these objects provides a hands-on way to learn and understand mathematical concepts. Encouraging your child to discuss how they came up with their answers ties in language development and helps them strengthen their problem-solving skills – it also gives them an opportunity to vocalize their thought process so that they have a better understanding of what they’re doing.

Improving mathematics understanding also begins with double-checking answers. Asking children to double-check their work allows them to learn from their mistakes and is a valuable teaching tool in improving number sense. Having the chance to go over and spot mistakes on their own encourages mathematics comprehension in the long run, effectively arming them with problem-solving skills they will use throughout life. Finding their own errors gives children more confidence when learning mathematics, ultimately aiding their education and understanding of numbers.

Developing Math Practice

Starting young is essential to developing mathematics skills that can be used throughout life. Number sense is crucial in building skills, as it helps with understanding problems and problem-solving. Creating practice habits is also important to reinforcing mathematics experience, such as checking one’s work. Children need to be taught to ask themselves questions when interacting with the mathematics curriculum, which can help them learn and create a deeper understanding of mathematics. 

Constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others is a vital math practice for children to develop. This requires them to explain their math thinking and analyze strategies used by their peers. Such a process helps kids recognize that math problems are not just about getting the correct answer but understanding the procedures used in getting to that solution. Utilizing multiple approaches encourages flexible math problem-solving, allowing children to dig deeper into math concepts while also gaining more number sense. Ultimately, this demonstrates the power of math communication on learning and encourages critical thinking in math situations.

A Mathematical Journey

Having number sense is an essential component for children to be able to progress along their mathematical journey throughout school. Without number sense, or number and operations fluency, kids may struggle with basic math operations and numerical relationships that are expected of them as they move from one grade to the next. Further difficulty may be encountered when a child needs to form abstract math concepts using the number facts that number sense provides. If a child does not possess number sense, interventions should be conducted in order to help rectify this disadvantage for their longer-term progress in mathematics.

Math tutoring is one of the best ways to help children struggling with number sense. At Dropkick Math Academy, we include number sense as one of the four pillars of math, which all programs are designed around. Children will learn the fundamentals of mathematics, including number sense, and practice them in a fun and engaging way. 

Our math tutoring programs are taught by certified Ontario teachers who understand the importance of children learning the root of mathematics. Number sense can be taught at home through our helpful tips above, but if your child is still struggling, it may be time to reach out to trained instructors who can identify where your child may be behind and help them catch up to their peers. 

Learn more about our programs today and how they can help your child master number sense! 

Operational Sense

How Dropkick Math Helps Children With Operational Sense

Are you a parent whose child is struggling with developing the basic mental math skills needed to solve everyday problems? Does your child struggle with simple addition and subtraction questions? If so, Dropkick Math tutoring company could be the answer to your prayers. 

Our cleverly designed online math help offers an innovative approach to helping children build operational sense – leading them on a rewarding journey from hating math homework to actually enjoying it! Keep reading to learn how Dropkick Math can help your little ones become amazing mathematicians.

The Importance of Mathematical Operations

As adults, we all know the importance of mathematical operations and how mastering them can open up a world of possibilities for learning more complex concepts. But if you’ve ever watched a child learn math, then you also know that having operational sense is key to understanding the workings behind basic algebraic equations and formulae. 

The challenge is helping kids grasp this key concept without getting too frustrated or bored in the process – but don’t worry, Dropkick Math has your back! Keep reading to find out how this innovative program makes teaching operational sense easier and fun for both students and parents alike.

What Is Operational Sense?

Operational sense is when children can make sense of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and use them in problem-solving situations. Children need operational sense to help them understand more complex math expressions later on. As they enter the primary grades, operational sense is one of the most important tools they can have in their mathematical toolbelt. 

With operational sense, children can use various counting strategies, combining and partitioning numbers both mentally and on paper to understand the basics of addition and subtraction. Mathematical fluency becomes almost second nature as this operational sense deepens with practice. Parents should try teaching these concepts through play-based learning early on at home as it can help their child easily acquire such skills.

Programs Focusing On Operational Sense

At Dropkick Math Academy, we believe in using fun and engaging games to teach children operational sense. By understanding part-whole relationships, children can begin to use operations and perform calculations. So, we use carefully designed games to help children understand these relationships. 

One of our most popular programs that can help children improve their operational sense is Operations, Decimals and Space. This module takes place on the distant planet of Eldamore in a galaxy far far away. 

About Operations, Decimals and Space:

Earth has become overpopulated, and humans have looked to distant neighbouring planets to help create more space. In order to safely colonize the planet, we need your child’s help to regulate the gravitational field by gaining satellite control of the moons of Eldamore.

The alien Cipher (also the name for decimal) wants control of Eldamore so it can use the planet to make a doomsday device and destroy not only our new found planet, but possibly most of the galaxy.

Students must work on learning and improving their understanding of decimals and use teamwork to defend Eldamore and gain control of the six moons. By working with decimals, students can help battle Cipher and the alien horde so that the people of our earth have a safe place to go.

Students will practice their math operations throughout this battle, including adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. By providing support in learning the building blocks of mathematics and engaging in a fun and interactive learning environment, your child will begin to thrive. 

How To Know If Your Child Has Operational Sense

When children can fluently and flexibly work with computational strategies, they are demonstrating operational sense. Other characteristics that may indicate a grasp on operational sense include:

  • Using algorithms and strategies that make sense to them
  • Understanding the relationships between the operations
  • Developing a range of strategies and algorithms, including those of their own making
  • Determining an appropriate method of computation for the context and numbers involved in the problem

Math skills and confidence often go hand-in-hand. For many students, mastering math concepts can boost their confidence level. Likewise, students who are confident in their math skills often find that they excel in the subject. This is why many parents choose to enroll their children in Dropkick Math. The goal is to give kids a strong foundation in math so they can confidently approach the subject. 

How Dropkick Math Tutoring Company Can Help

If your child has shown signs of struggling with math, they may be missing part of the vital foundation of mathematics. At Dropkick Math Academy, we include the four pillars of math (number sense, operational sense, algebraic reasoning, and proportional reasoning) in our online math help. This helps to ensure students have the understanding they need to progress through higher grades in math. By having the basic fundamentals of math, students will continue to thrive throughout their education. 

A Gap In Learning

We understand that the pandemic caused a gap in learning for many children, which has caused them to fall behind. Our programs were developed with this gap in education in mind which is why we use research-based techniques and strategies designed to complement classroom instruction to facilitate students reaching their highest potential in mastering mathematics. 

Our custom-tailored programs are specifically created for students, helping them gain confidence in the building blocks of mathematics and develop conceptual understanding. We create a fun and dynamic educational environment for both parents and children, through engaging games and interactive learning tools.  

We are a tutoring company that addresses deficiencies while correcting any underlying misconceptions about mathematics. This will give a child the best foundation possible to ensure their success in mathematics for years to come! Check out our programs today and learn how your child can thrive in math. 

Learn Math

How Literature Can Help Make Sense Of Math Operations

Math problems present a unique challenge for many students who are good at computations, as they must bridge the gap between math theory and math application. Comfort with math computations does not necessarily guarantee fluency in math problem-solving – in fact, applying those same skills can require quite different strategies than the ones that capture a calculation.

Understanding the underlying structure of math operations, analyzing an equation’s components, and developing a plan for a solution can be daunting tasks for even technically adept math students. This is one reason why so many parents often head online to search for a “math tutor near me.”  

At Dropkick Math Academy, we understand that tackling math problems one step at a time while breaking down each challenge and understanding the process are great steps toward mastering math application. We are an alternative to math tutoring that makes learning about math concepts and applying them in real-life situations fun and rewarding. We use game-based learning in our programs, but another great way to help your child understand math problem-solving is with literature. 

Gaining A Deeper Understanding

Solving math problems requires more than just memorized formulas and procedures. As we previously mentioned, it requires students to develop a deeper understanding of math operations and recognize the connection between an actual problem and the math needed to solve it. This can often be challenging, especially when students have gaps in understanding particular math concepts. 

However, with proper instruction and guidance, they can learn how to make these connections between contextual math problems and the algorithms needed to solve them. Students who can do this will be better equipped to approach math problems proactively rather than relying solely on memorizing procedures.


Through problem-solving, students can develop an operational sense – an understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As they connect relationships and different meanings to these four operations, students can more accurately apply these operations to real-world settings. 

One of the best ways that children can learn about problem-solving is through children’s literature, as it provides an excellent way for students to engage with math in a unique and exciting way. Through reading stories, they can encounter math-related events, characters, and data that bring the subject to life in an accessible, memorable way. 

Not only do these books give young math enthusiasts a chance to explore mathematics through interesting stories and characters, but the context of these stories serves as excellent starting points for math practice. Children’s literature is highly beneficial for math learning, allowing children to develop an appreciation for math and gain experience in understanding math concepts within stimulating environments.

Math-Focused Stories

Math-focused stories can be a great way for students to dive deeper into addition and subtraction operations. These stories, or children’s literature, allow young learners to explore multiple scenarios without the pressure of traditional math activities. Through story time discussions with teachers or parents, students are able to work through solving math problems while being more heavily engaged in their learning by putting math into perspective. 

When math is presented in a meaningful way, such as through storytelling, it allows students to take ownership of their understanding of math concepts, helping them develop a much deeper understanding than ever before.

Utilizing literature to explore math topics doesn’t have to only be reserved for young students. Upper-grade math classes can also benefit from a little narrative structure. Studies show that math becomes far more meaningful and applicable when it’s engaged in through storytelling and reading. Reading aloud important math-related stories to an upper-grade math class can instill a sense of context for math problems and higher-level math concepts. Furthermore, engaging with math via literature also allows students to make connections between the math principles they’re studying with their own lives and experiences, adding an empowering layer to their mathematical journey.

Understanding Over Memorization

Telling a math-related story is an effective way to introduce operations, as it encourages students to understand the operation being discussed rather than simply memorizing how to perform the calculation. By giving the math problem a narrative context, the student can better visualize and comprehend the math task at hand, engaging with it on a more meaningful level. Additionally, this approach connects math concepts to other literature they may be studying in class and is especially useful for students who may not have a natural math talent. Providing students with stories that connect multiple subjects creates opportunities for them to learn the material more quickly and effectively.

Using literature is a creative and effective way to help children visualize math concepts as they are used in real life. For example, in a story, maybe the characters share food. This would cause students to think about division situations. Try reading to your child and asking math questions when appropriate. In this example, If Mr. Patrick brings food in the story, you could ask your child if he brought 24 candies to his 6 friends, how many would each get?

This not only makes reading more interactive but also stimulates their mathematical brain!

Research has shown that giving students a context, a real-world or imaginary situation to help illustrate math operations has real benefits. These include:

  • Increasing engagement 
  • Deepening an understanding of operations
  • Strengthening skills in creating equations to represent problem situations
  • Getting students talking about their math reasoning

Our Favourite Stories

Some of our favourite stories that can help children better understand mathematical ideas include:

The Doorbell Rang

This fun story has a mathematical twist. After reading, children should be encouraged to mathematically represent what happens on each page and then discuss this representation. The story’s final page creates a new math challenge to be represented.

Hutchins, P. 1986. The doorbell rang. New York: Mulberry.

You can name 100 dinosaurs!

This book is a treat for dinosaur lovers! It focuses on exploring dinosaurs by historical periods while using illustrations to help children develop higher-number concepts. It also encourages labelling, categorizing, and scientific investigations.

Chewning, R. 1994. You can name 100 dinosaurs! New York: Scholastic.

One watermelon seed

This entertaining story deals with the concepts of multiples of 10 within the context of gardening. Children can follow along and count how many seeds are planted and how many fruits and vegetables they will harvest as a result.

Lotteridge, C.B. 1986. One watermelon seed. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Communicating Ideas

Writing and mathematics are both useful ways of communicating ideas and understanding relationships. A mathematician uses special symbols and operations to express a sequence of instructions or to construct a relationship between two values. This type of communication is like the language used to create equations that can be solved for an answer or evaluated for its properties. Meanwhile, a writer might use verbs to describe the same action, expressing how someone might go about fulfilling the process without providing any numerical value. While writers and mathematicians use different tools, their end goal is the same; to provide a clear explanation of an event or relationship.

Making Learning Fun!

Math is much more than just working with figures and solving equations; math is a powerful way to interpret, understand, and describe the world around us. At Dropkick Math Academy, we understand math is much more than boring numbers and equations. We make learning math fun. Just like using literature to learn math concepts, we use game-based learning to make it more enjoyable and interactive. 

Students love our games and continue practicing even outside of class. We flip math around and help students fight back against their fear of math. In our programs, students can earn rewards, making it even more tempting to keep practicing their math skills!

Learn more about our programs today and how your child can boost their confidence in math!

Proportional Reasoning

How Proportional Reasoning Is Used In Everyday Life

As a parent, you might wonder what mathematical concepts your child is learning in school and how they will be used in everyday life. Today, we’re going to take a look at proportional reasoning and how it’s used daily.

Proportional reasoning is the ability to understand that two quantities are in proportion if they change at the same rate. For example, if we know that there are 2 apples for every 3 oranges, then we can also say that there are 6 apples for every 9 oranges. This is because both ratios are equivalent (2:3 = 6:9). This math concept is just one of the four pillars (number sense, operational sense, proportional reasoning, algebraic reasoning) that we focus on at Dropkick Math tutoring company. 

Understanding The World Around Us

Too often, children see math as a dull and difficult subject that has no relevance to their lives. However, they are more inclined to want to learn when they understand why math is important in everyday life. After all, math is more than just a set of arbitrary rules. It helps us to understand the world around us and make sense of the patterns we see. 

In fact, math is a vital tool in many different fields, from medicine and engineering to finance and architecture. By showing children how math is used in the real world, we can help them to see its value and appreciate its importance. Only then will they be motivated to learn math and develop the skills they need for success in school and beyond.

What Are Some Examples Of Proportional Reasoning?

When we speak about proportional reasoning, it is essential to help children understand how it can be used in everyday life. If your child is struggling with math concepts, let them know that they have probably already been using proportional reasoning without even knowing it! If they hear that they already know how to do something, it can help boost their confidence and willingness to learn more. 

Some examples of everyday proportional reasoning include:

-When we’re trying to figure out how much shampoo to use, we usually start with a small amount and then add more if we need it. This is because we know that the amount of shampoo is directly proportional to the amount of hair we have.

-When we’re cooking, we often need to double or halve recipes depending on how many people we’re feeding. This requires us to understand that the ingredients are proportional to the number of people we’re serving.

-When we’re driving, we need to constantly adjust our speed based on the flow of traffic. We know that if the traffic is moving faster, we need to speed up; if it’s moving slower, we need to slow down. This is because our speed is directly proportional to the speed of traffic around us.

Why Is Proportional Reasoning Important?

As you can see, proportional reasoning is a useful skill that we use all the time without even realizing it! So next time your child does something where they need to make a quick calculation, let them know that they are using their proportional reasoning skills. 

Proportional reasoning is a skill that allows us to interpret graphs and charts accurately, make comparisons between quantities, and solve problems efficiently. In fact, many algebraic equations can even be solved using proportional reasoning skills. Without these abilities, it would be nearly impossible to navigate daily life tasks effectively. Proportional reasoning is a vital skill that should be developed and honed throughout our education and career.

Building Upon Math Concepts

Mathematics is often considered a series of isolated concepts, each to be memorized and applied to specific problems. However, this view overlooks the fact that mathematics constantly evolves and builds upon itself. One concept can lead to the discovery or development of another, leading to a deeper understanding of the underlying principles at play. 

For example, students who are developing proportional reasoning skills can also improve overall mathematical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Building upon previous concepts is central to the very nature of mathematics and helps explain its power as a problem-solving tool. Without this foundation, Mathematics would not be nearly as effective or versatile. So next time your child struggles with a complex math problem, remember that it may just be laying the groundwork for an even greater discovery in the future. Encourage them to work through the problems using proportional reasoning and demonstrate the equation in a real-life situation to make it more relatable to them. 

About The Four Pillars Of Math

At Dropkick Math Academy, we focus our curriculum on the four pillars of math. As one of the main pillars, we believe that the ability to reason and think proportionally is critical in developing an individual’s ability to understand mathematics. While students may have memorized how to solve a proportion problem, this does not mean they can think proportionally.

As one of the essential understandings of mathematics, all students must acquire good proportional reasoning skills to take them through school and later in life. If your child is struggling with mathematics, it is essential to understand where they need extra help. Our certified Ontario teachers can help your child with any gaps in education and help them catch up with their learning. 

Finding A Reputable Tutoring Company

When it comes to online math help, it can be difficult to find reliable and professional help. Many websites offer generic, automated solutions that can’t address individual student needs. But here at Dropkick Math, we have a team of dedicated math teachers who genuinely care about the success of our students. Our one-on-one approach allows us to tailor each lesson to the student’s specific needs and learning style. In addition, our teachers are all highly trained and passionate about math education. So, whether your child is struggling with algebra or decimals and fractions, our team is here to provide personalized support and guidance every step of the way. Trust us for expert math help from caring professionals.

Learn more about our math tutoring today by visiting our website.

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Are You Praising Your Child Wrong?

It’s natural for parents to want to shower their children with praise. After all, we want them to feel good about themselves and be successful in life, right? But new research shows that we might be doing more harm than good with our constant compliments. Turns out, praising kids about how smart they are can actually backfire, leading to increased anxiety and lower self-esteem. So, what’s a parent to do? Learn how and when to give authentic praise to help your child thrive.

How Could It Do Harm?

You may be wondering how praising your child could do any harm. But, the way the praise is given and the consistency matter a lot when dealing with a child struggling with academics. Praise is a powerful tool in motivating children and can help them feel competent and confident, encouraging them to persevere in the face of challenges. However, praise also has the potential to do more harm than good. If praise is focused on a child’s ability or results, it can create a fixed mindset where children believe that their intelligence or talent is the only reason for their success. This can lead to children feeling discouraged when encountering difficulties, as they believe their lack of ability is to blame.

On the other hand, praise that focuses on a child’s effort can foster a growth mindset, where children believe that their abilities can be developed through hard work and practice. This type of praise encourages children to keep trying even when they encounter setbacks, as they know they can improve. As a result, praising a child’s effort is more likely to promote long-term success than praising their ability or results.

A recent study looked at the effect of praise on children, specifically how they are praised from ages 1 to 3. Five years later, the researchers measured the children’s mindset. It was found that the more the parents praised the process (effort, not intelligence) in their younger years, the more likely they were to have a growth mindset five years later. 

What To Say?

Saying things to your child like “you are so smart” may seem like a good idea, but it can ultimately set them up for challenges later if they begin to struggle. If they have repeatedly been told that they are smart, they may lack perseverance when math no longer comes easy to them. And this day will come. Even if your child sails through math concepts with no problems, more difficult equations will likely start to slow them down once they start getting older. 

You will want to praise your child with phrases such as “Great job putting in the effort to show your work on your test,” or “I am so happy you took your time on that problem and didn’t give up!” Praise their time management, effort, and persistence. Do not praise their intellect. Before praising your child, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Does this encourage learning, growth, and the ability to accept challenges?”.

Letting Your Child Struggle

When children are faced with a challenging problem, they should productively struggle to come to the answer. This allows them to take time to solve the problem and look at their mistakes along the way to learn from them. Letting your child struggle productively with helpful praise will help them in the long run. 

Children who feel comfortable struggling in a productive way may take a break but will ultimately come back to the problem and attempt new strategies until a solution is identified. 

On the other hand, children who enter the destructive struggle zone often run out of strategies and no longer believe they can solve the problem. Once a child doubts their ability, they no longer care to solve the problem. This is where reinforcing praise for a child’s effort can come in. 

Encouraging a child to take risks, fail, and learn from their mistakes is all part of good praise. At some point in life, we are all going to fail at something. But powering through failure and sadness is how to experience success. Homework is a great place to encourage your child into a productive struggle so they can handle future problems with ease. 

One of the most challenging things for students to do in school is to develop confidence and comfort with math. That’s why our programs are designed specifically around closing skill gaps while supporting them through their learning so they feel more confident. If your child continues to struggle with math, our programs may be able to help.

All of our programs are taught by certified Ontario teachers who can offer differentiated approaches, making it accessible for all learning needs. We focus on the four pillars of math (number sense, operational sense, proportional reasoning, and algebraic reasoning). 

Involving The Parent/Guardian

At Dropkick Math, we offer a unique learning environment that gives the option of involving the parent/caregiver. We believe the relationships between parent, student, and educator are crucial to achieving mastery in mathematics and that learning together achieves lasting success!  Part of this learning environment involves praising a child in their efforts and encouraging a fun and engaging atmosphere. 

So, before you start searching for “math tutor near me,” check out our unique programs that will help build your child’s confidence and set them up for long-term success.  

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Why Spatial Reasoning Is So Important For Mathematics

Do you remember the first time you solved a puzzle? The satisfaction of completing it and finally understanding how all the pieces fit together was an amazing feeling. As parents, we want to give our children the best opportunities for success in life, and part of that includes helping them develop strong problem-solving skills such as those that accomplish finishing a puzzle. 

One skill that is essential for mathematical success is spatial reasoning. Developing this ability at an early age can set your child up for future academic achievement and it can even predict students’ later success in higher levels of mathematics, such as proportional thinking and algebraic reasoning. Keep reading to learn more about why spatial reasoning is so important for children’s mathematics and what you can do to help them excel in this area. 

What Is Spatial Reasoning?

The ability to reason spatially is a fundamental human skill that allows us to make sense of the world around us. Spatial reasoning skills are used when we navigate our environment, manipulate objects, or even daydream. Although we are often not consciously aware of it, spatial reasoning is essential for everyday life.

There are many different types of spatial reasoning tasks, but they all involve mental manipulation of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional images. For example, a common spatial reasoning task is mental rotation, which requires imagining how an object would look if it were rotated in space. Another type of spatial reasoning task is mental folding, which involves folding a 2-dimensional image in your mind to visualize a 3-dimensional object.

Spatial reasoning skills develop throughout childhood and continue to improve into adulthood. However, some people are naturally better at spatial reasoning than others. One’s ability to reason spatially can also be affected by factors such as fatigue, stress, and boredom. Spatial reasoning skills can be improved with practice, so there’s no need to worry if your child doesn’t seem naturally gifted in this area. With a little bit of practice, anyone can become better at spatial reasoning.

Math Is More Than Numbers

When most people think of math, they think of numbers. However, math is so much more than that. It encompasses spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, and other important skills. For kids, this can be a lot to take in. They may get bored quickly if they think math is just about numbers. However, when they are exposed to spatial reasoning tasks and toys, they suddenly become interested in learning more. They may even choose to play with math materials during their free time. 

Spatial reasoning is a key part of math education and it can be very engaging for kids. By exposing them to spatial reasoning tasks and toys, we can help them develop a love for math.

Mathematical Abilities

A recent study has found that spatial reasoning skills in early childhood can predict mathematical abilities later in life. The study followed a group of children from ages 6 to 8, and found that those with strong spatial reasoning skills at age 6 were more likely to perform well on mathematical tasks at age 8. This relationship was especially strong for tasks involving the linear number line. 

The findings suggest that spatial reasoning skills play an essential role in the development of mathematical abilities. Furthermore, they indicate that intervening to improve spatial reasoning skills in early childhood could positively impact later math achievement. The study provides new insights into the importance of spatial reasoning skills and highlights the need for further research on ways to support the development of these skills in young children.

Standardized Testing

In Ontario, students take a standardized test in Grade 3 called the EQAO that determines if they are on grade level. Many teachers notice that in grade 2 students often struggle with tasks that involve spatial sense, indicating that it should be included more in math education in the early elementary classroom. But it shouldn’t just fall on teachers to help children understand spatial reasoning. There are many activities that parents can offer their children to help advance their understanding of spatial reasoning.   

How To Be Proactive

Spatial reasoning is a critical skill set for many STEM fields, and strong spatial reasoning skills have been linked to success in mathematics. As I previously mentioned, spatial reasoning skills are often not formally taught in schools which means that children could fall behind. However, parents can be proactive by helping their children develop strong spatial reasoning skills from an early age. This can be done by encouraging spatial talk in children. 

Through spatial talk, children learn to use language to describe spatial relationships and solve problems. For example, a parent might ask a child to put away their toys by saying, “Please put the red block on top of the blue cube.” Parents can also provide opportunities for spatial play, such as puzzles, building blocks, and drawing. By encouraging spatial talk and providing opportunities for spatial play, parents can help their children develop strong spatial reasoning skills that will set them up for success in school and beyond.

Spatial reasoning can be taught through each of the four pillars of math (number sense, operational sense, algebraic reasoning, and proportional reasoning). When thinking of math concepts, parents should try and view them through a spatial and geometry lens. For example, when a child is learning about number sense, they can be encouraged to gesture with their hands, or they can visualize the number line. 

If your child is struggling with spatial reasoning or any other math concept, Dropkick Math Academy can help. So, before you start searching for “math tutor near me” learn about our programs or get in contact if you have any questions. Our team of Ontario certified teachers understands the gaps in education that can often occur and can address them while boosting your child’s confidence in mathematics. 

Get started today by having your child complete our FREE assessment

Math During Pandemic

How Much Learning Have Students Really Lost During The Pandemic

How Much Learning Have Students Really Lost During The Pandemic

How Much Learning Have Students Really Lost During The Pandemic

There’s never been a better time to address the COVID learning loss. As kids return to the classrooms and many restrictions are lifted, it is time to talk about education. While some studies are being released, the gap still remains in understanding just how much loss has occurred, and which student groups have been most impacted by the pandemic.

One thing we do know for sure is that math is one of the most impacted subjects during the pandemic. A recent analysis done at the beginning of the school year found that elementary students were four months behind in reading and five months behind in math. 

Getting Back On Track

Educators are noticing that students who spent more of their time learning through virtual schooling were generally behind their peers who attended more in-person classes. The good news is that kids seem to be rebounding quickly once they begin meeting regularly with their teachers and classmates. Teachers are doing everything they can to try and identify students and losses, making sure they’re working with parents to get them back on track.

There is no timeline for how long this catchup will take, but the federal government has provided funding to assist with education by expanding summer programs and offering extra support to students who may need it.

A Long Term Plan

Parents and teachers alike are concerned about the loss of learning caused by the pandemic. However, it is unrealistic to think that a few months of anything will fully close the pandemic’s gaps. Educators are likely looking at a long game, perhaps three or more years, during which teachers must do their best to help their students.

To help students overcome this loss of learning, many teachers are reaching out for help and looking for new, exciting ways to keep their students engaged and learning. To help students overcome this learning loss, many teachers are reaching out for help and looking for new, exciting ways to keep their students engaged and learning. For example, teachers are revisiting key topics or essential understandings numerous times throughout the school year instead of teaching a unit and never addressing that topic again. This gives children more chances to understand the subject instead of simply memorizing it fully. 

Many teachers are also trying to include student-centred (moving at the pace of learning) or collaborative problem-solving. Teachers are reporting that students are becoming more engaged with this style of education, which allows for better confidence in the child. 

Emotional Needs

In this time of crisis, post-pandemic schools should be focusing on trauma-informed instruction, building relationships and engaging students in rich tasks that promote critical thinking and problem-solving. Since so many children have been isolated, it is more important now than ever.

This type of approach helps to establish connections by focusing on student well-being while fostering relationships through respectful curiosity and compassion. By educators creating consistent daily routines, setting clear, achievable expectations, and modelling a growth mindset, children will learn that they are in an inclusive environment free from judgement where they can learn at their own pace. 

Growth Rate

As math learning has taken a bigger hit during the pandemic than other subjects, students’ growth rate in math is expected to slow during the next few years. So, getting them the help they need now could help them get caught up quicker than expected. 

An online math tutor is a popular choice for many parents. However, these tutors can often be expensive, hard to fit into a busy family schedule, or not help the child with the root of their math misunderstandings. Dropkick Math is an alternative to a tutor that can offer a unique way of learning for your child. As one of the leading math tutoring services, our Ontario Certified Teachers can provide support in key math skills through fun and interactive programs. 

All students start with an assessment using our free early indicators check-in. From there, we know how the child is performing and what programs would be best suited for their needs. Once students are enrolled in our programs, they will begin building their math confidence and developing their future skills. 

Get started today by learning more about our programs.