The Key to Successfully Tutoring Your Own Children Maths

This is a guest post is by Bon Crowder from Math is Not a Four Letter Word


Are you thinking about tutoring your own children?

Are you hesitant?

The toughest thing about giving instruction to a family member is how close you are to the situation.

Hire a math tutor and you can watch him peacefully manage your sweet offspring.

Try it yourself and they turn into maniacs.

And why?

Because you’re still frustrated that they haven’t learned to pick their clothes up off the floor. And you’re annoyed that they don’t clean up the milk they spill. They want to go to the movies and you won’t let them. And they feel like you aren’t letting them be themselves. And…

But you can pull away from all that and still tutor!

Make yourself into a tutor

It’s time to be creative, parents. If you’ve tried to tutor as “the mom” and failed, well, try to tutor as “Mrs. Fibonacci.” Get a smock and a hat or pair of fake glasses. Put on some earrings that you would never wear. Don’t get too goofy, but have fun with it.

Let your sweet dear know that you’ll be tutoring as Mrs. Fibonacci and set aside a specific amount of time. Depending on the needs of your child, you might try one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays or a half hour each day. Go to a set place and close the door. Get the rest of the family on board with this, too, so they won’t interrupt.

Also pay for the math tutoring. Instead of paying an outside tutor, set up a reward system for both you and your child. Every hour that you successfully tutor, you get an hour of fun on the weekend doing something as a treat. Or you earn points toward a trip. Or you can use monetary rewards – depending on how effective they are with your family.

Prepare ahead of time

Many math tutors will ask what the subject and topic is a few days ahead of time. This gives them the opportunity to brush up.

Find out what the next few lessons are and get help before the next session. That way when you’re Mrs. Fibonacci and in session, you’ll have some of the answers on hand.

And allow yourself to be wrong – mathematicians do it all the time. If he asks a question that you don’t know the answer to, let Mrs. Fibonacci offer to do research and get back to him in the next session.

Let the tutoring session be professional.

As Mrs. Fibonacci, speak differently to your child. Forget the clothes he left all over the floor this morning and the milk he spilled that he didn’t clean up. Those are all out. He’s a new, fresh kiddo. Beautiful, smart and ready to learn.

And have him call you Mrs. Fibonacci. Keep that role alive through the whole session. You’ll feel the difference and be able to talk math in a professional way to him.

Make it happen!

Are you ready? You might start getting your “kit” together now – in the summer before the school year starts. Create your outfit and choose your name. “Mrs. Fibonacci” is okay, but you might want to find another mathematician’s name that speaks to you more.

Start getting the whole family on board. Let them choose the location and times. Get ready. Get set. So when the school year starts, you can GO!


Bon Crowder is a rogue mathematician mom who publishes – a math educational website for parents and homeschoolers. She’ll also take away all your homeschool math problems with her individualized homeschool math consulting service.


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