6 Super Resources for Your Bored Maths Genius

MATHS INSIDERS blog (1)

Your child finds maths easy and comes top in all their maths tests at school, great news!

Well not always.

Children who are gifted at maths can suffer from:

  • boredom (the work is too easy)
  • low expectations (if their talent isn’t spotted)
  • frustration (if they come across difficult work – after all they’re supposed to be good at maths!)

Day 2 - Boring
Creative Commons License photo credit: Cristiano Betta

So what can I do if you think your child is gifted at maths?

  • Generally, as a parent, make sure that you chat to your child’s teacher as soon as you think they may be finding their school maths too easy. Not all schools have a gifted program, but your child’s teacher may be willing to give your child different (not more) work within the class.
  • Also be aware that although your child may shine at mental maths or algebra, they may have weaknesses in their problem solving skills, or with maths that requires spatial skills such as geometry. With any work you do at home with your child, try to give plenty of opportunity for your child to explore such problem areas.
  • It’s also important to encourage your child to experience the non academic side of maths. Explore how maths links to other subjects such as art, science, history and engineering design.

What resources can I use to support my gifted child?

With recreational maths in mind, here are 5 great resources to help you support your maths mad child:

1) NRich

NRICH is a joint project between the Faculties of Mathematics and Education at The University of Cambridge (where I did my teacher training!). It provides interactive maths challenges, weekly maths puzzles, maths games and a forum, all focused on offering “enrichment” activities to students.

2) Art of Problem Solving

The Art of Problem Solving website also has a forum where students, parents and teachers can share ideas about maths competitions and curriculla. They also have online classes for students aged  11-18 which “bring together top students to work with outstanding teachers”

3) Project Euler

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that  require more than just mathematical insights to solve and are aimed at among others “students for whom the basic curriculum is not feeding their hunger to learn, “. James Somers has an great article on how it helped him finally learn computer programming.

4) Khan Academy

There’s been a big debate amongst maths teachers and educators as to the merits of Salman Khan’s vast quantity of  free online “chalk and talk” maths videos, but many parents have successfully used this controversial resource to support their children’s maths learning, whether their child was gifted or not.  My feeling is that anything that encourages students to strengthen their maths skills independently from school, can’t be all bad.

5) Maths-Whizz and 6) Ten Marks

Both Maths-Whizz and Ten Marks offer online ability tracked maths programs. After initial testing your child is given work that suits their ability rather than their age and focuses on their weaknesses. Click here to see my video review of Maths-Whizz. Both programs offer free trials.

If you’re worried that your child may be too good at maths, make sure to communicate with your child’s teacher, focus on working on any problem areas and encourage recreational maths.

Have you tried any of the resources? What did you think of them? What other resources does your maths mad child like?

Caroline Mukisa
About The Author: Caroline Mukisa is the founder of Maths Insider. A Cambridge University educated math teacher, she's been involved in math education for over 20 years as a teacher, tutor, Kumon instructor, Thinkster Math instructor and math ed blogger. She is the author of the insanely helpful ebook "The Ultimate Kumon Review" and insanely useful website "31 Days to Faster Times Tables" You can follow her math tips on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @mathsinsider

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “6 Super Resources for Your Bored Maths Genius

  1. My daughter used the math whizz program for close to 3 years, from age 6 to 9. When we started, I appreciated the graphics, the thoroughness of the teaching and (as an American) the introduction to metrics for my daughter.

    But as a gifted kid, she was frustrated with this program and fought me a lot about the time I’d ask her to spend on the web site. Our complaints:

    1. the Initial assessment took far too long for a 6 year old. After a solid hour of work I finally told her to just get a few questions wrong to stop it. As I understand they’ve revamped the initial assessment, and I hope they’ve addressed this.

    2. She absolutely hated the “hints” that the program gave her when she got a problem “wrong”. Most of the time it was a typing error, not a calculation error, and they started “hinting” with her immediately. There was a high frustration factor for her there. She wanted to be given a chance to figure it out once more before being told what she was doing wrong.

    3. I could never figure out how to find a lesson that I thought she needed to repeat – the “review” section seemed sorted by picture, but didn’t explain to me what the concept being taught for each section so getting back to a section was purely a guess.

    4. Just how many times did we need to review “skip counting” – skip count by fours starting with 1. Skip count by fours starting with 3. Skip count by fours starting with 2. Then practice skip counting by fives starting with 4…. it seemed endless.

    5. My daughter’s school still uses math whizz in the classroom, and we had reached the point about a year ago where my daughter was openly mocking the program in school. It went too slowly, spent too much time on the graphics and wasn’t really teaching her anything anymore. So her teacher got her access to a middle school program that eliminated the graphics and my daughter was much happier.

    4. Despite the US website and the US dollar pricing, the charge came through on my credit card as an international charge, that resulted in additional fees for me. Not cool, especially considering that they have a US office presence. They should be able to bill from here too.

    Overall, for the reluctant math student I think there is some appeal to all of the pretty graphics, “prizes” and heavy repetition. For gifted students I’d be careful to make sure the program is keeping up with the child. When it doesn’t, it’s time to find a more challenging program. We should have moved on a year or so before we actually did.

  2. What an interesting post you have shared to us and I learned a lot from it. My daughter likes Math than the other subjects. She wanted to be an accountant in the future that’s why I believe in you that we are really similar that my daughter’s school still uses math whizz in the classroom too, and we had reached the point about a year ago where my daughter was openly mocking the program in school.

  3. I do agree of an fascinating post you have shared to us and I discovered a great deal from it. My daughter likes Math than the other topics. She needed to be an accountant in the future that is why I believe in you that we are really comparable that my daughter’s school nonetheless utilizes math whizz in the classroom too, and we had arrived at the point about a yr in the past where my daughter was openly mocking the plan in school

  4. If you’re in the St. Louis region, Project MEGSSS offers 3 years of advanced math studies for the the gifted middle school student, starting with rising 5th or 6th graders.

  5. Dear friends,

    I have a mathematics guinus in our local community who dropped out of school due to lack of funds some time ago. How can you help to promote this young man in offering non-academic support to be productive to himself such available job opportunities as well as help other people to live better. At the moment, he offers casual labour in our local market without utilising his talent