2020 has changed us. At the end of 2020 the U.K. finally parted company with the E.U. and during 2020 the virus ravaged around the world.
The one group who are badly hit are children. Their education has been badly hit but the answer is NOT longer school days. Children are not empty vessels like tin cans waiting to be filled with knowledge. They are people who have thoughts, feelings and worries like the rest of us. They have had a difficult year and the answer is simple. As we slowly unlock, they need to play. If schools are going to have extended days then that extra time needs to be fun for kids. It is the social and emotional of your child that has been hurt the most during lockdown.
The answer is let them play, seriously, let them play.
One year in the life of a 45 year old is 1/45 but 1/10 of a ten year olds life. That means it is a huge part they have lost. So take them to football, organise a disco (outdoors), go playing hockey. In fact anything that is social and fun. Play is essential for their well being
It helps children deal with emotional issues and then teachers can teach them. Then they will learn more effectively and be happier people as a result.
Since this blog is for Mathematics students you may be surprised to see this. The truth is that when you are back in school/college in the autumn/fall, then the Covid virus is till going to be with us.
So every night when you get home, you need to have a sanitizer period.
This is not a joke. Before you eat or drink you need to strip totally and go and shower. This is because if you have come into contact with someone who has the virus or is carrying it, you may have it on your skin. By showering you are washing it off your skin.
All of your underclothes need to be washed, literally every night. Your outer clothes also need to be cleaned. we recommend you get a steamer like this one https://amzn.to/37YXWkn
The Covid 19 virus is a piece of genetic material and when it gets hot it breaks apart. This is why it is not as big a problem in the summer. But in the autumn/fall semester we could be due a second spike. So outer clothes can be steamed and that will kill the virus. Alternatively leave them for 72 hours and it will break apart. The virus has to get inside a person to survive. That person then becomes the host and the virus may make the host sick or die.
Don’t forget to steam your shoes as well. Yes it is a pain but it is better than you dying or you bringing it home and infecting someone in your family.
One of the worst things people say to their children is ‘ I could never do maths when I was your age’. This is meant to be sympathetic BUT let’s look at the reality. In reality you are saying to the young person, ‘ it is highly unlikely that you will sucked’, But you are also saying ‘ I managed without maths, so if you are canny, you can too.’ Nothing can be further from the truth. Maths and literacy are like food and drink. You can survive for a while without one of them but you will eventually fail.
You do not expect children to fail at reading. There is an expectation that all children will learn to read so why expect them or even encourage them to fail at maths?
The answer is adult anxiety. Very often we pass on our own anxiety to the next generation. This can often bring bad memories of anxiety and stress in the classroom and that is then passed onto the children. This is a cycle that has to be broken. One way is to use puzzles.This is fun.
Here is a puzzle you can try at home
If you put your left foot on the first step as you go upstairs, do you put your left foot on the top step? If so why? If not why not?
This blog is designed to help three types of people:
students studying GCSE maths or post 16 level 2/3 maths,
teachers who need good ideas to help their teaching,
parents who are concerned about their children’s progress.
My name is Dr Graham Lawler and I am a maths teacher, a former head of maths and an author. I have worked with primary, secondary, sixth form, F.E. and university post graduate students so I have a lot of experience and maybe can show you somethings in a different way.
We plan to have a Youtube channel where you can see some videos of how to answer questions. That should save you hours of slog. This is part of my business so not everything is free, there are books that you will be able to buy, but it is not compulsory and there will be courses that you can take part in, but that comes later.
First of all, I need you to do something. In the reply below, let me know what areas of school maths are challenging and we will see what we can do to help you.