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How Can You Teach Yourself Mathematics?

By Joseph, published on 22/05/2018 Blog > Academia > Maths > How to Teach Yourself Maths

“Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.” – Confucius

Confucius clearly understood the importance of learning and setting yourself goals when you learn. Hopefully, this quote has inspired you to learn maths. It’s a good idea to have a guide or a tutor although you can learn to be good at maths on your own, too.

Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t think that they can teach themselves maths. However, thanks to interactive websites and maths resources, you too can become an expert in maths and no longer struggle when it comes to mental arithmetic.

Not everyone can get to maths classes or afford a private tutor to help them learn maths so in this article, we’re going to help those who find maths puzzles challenging by looking at how you can learn maths on your own.

How to Teach Yourself Maths on Your Computer

If you want to study maths on your own, you need to have the right tools. Digital resources are some of the best when it comes to studying on computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Can you learn maths on a computer? Nowadays you don’t necessarily have to do maths with a pen and paper. (Source: tjevans)

When talking about computers, we mean both laptops and desktops, of course! There are plenty of advantages including the fact that you can:

  • Do maths exercises whenever you want
  • Study scientific subjects like physics and chemistry, too
  • Revise for your GCSEs, A Levels, or undergraduate maths degree
  • Get mathematics education from an online tutor

If the goal is to be completely self-sufficient, you need to have a good approach to working. Maths is more than just mental arithmetic, decimal numbers, as well as a number of techniques for:

  • Understanding how to solve problems
  • Applying the right theory at the right time
  • Reasoning
  • Improving your memory through specific mathematical exercises
  • Working on more involved maths operations like complex operations including variables, tangents, or literal, or linear equations.

Another advantage of studying maths on your own with a computer is that you can study any level from primary school and secondary schools to more advanced degree-level maths. Everyone can learn at their own pace.

The most important thing is to put together a comprehensive maths study programme to ensure you get the most out of your studies. Outline your objectives: brushing up, improving, preparing for exams, getting to grips with the foundations of maths. You can also calmly study at your computer thanks to online maths games.

You should also be aware of any deadlines and just how long you’ve got to achieve your goals. Be reasonable with your deadlines otherwise, you’ll end up demotivating yourself if you keep setting goals that you can’t possibly achieve.

Isn’t playing games much more fun that just studying from a book?

How to Teach Yourself Maths with Games

Maths games are great for learning maths on your own and cover a variety of maths topics:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Physics and Chemistry
  • Trigonometry

Which are the best maths games? Games and toys are a great way to improve your reasoning skills. (Source: rubylia)

You can fill in the gaps in your knowledge with multimedia resources covering a wide range of subjects:

  • Numbers: decimal numbers, whole numbers, relative numbers, etc.
  • Calculations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Geometry: geometric shapes, linear functions.

There are several types of maths games which usually allow you to work on a certain type of mathematical reflection. The most common types include:

  • Logic games
  • Thinking games
  • Reading games
  • Calculus games
  • Online board games
  • Memory games
  • Card games
  • Free online maths games, exercises, word problems

Start by solving simple maths problems online. There are also apps you can get to help you study maths. You should consider the following maths games and apps:

  • Mathematically-minded games like Sudoku or chess
  • The big names in maths, like Montessori, that have several games.
  • Apps for telephones and tablets like iTooch so that you can study maths wherever and whenever you like.

“I usually teach maths tutorials and I’ve found that maths games are a useful tool for helping students who are struggling in maths. With my students, I use online maths exercises to help explain different subjects to them. And it works.” – Alain, maths tutor.

You should also check out some of the best maths websites and apps:

ResourceProsCons
Sudoku, Chess, and Board GamesEasy to learnNot for specific maths skills
MontessoriMulti-platformJust for kids
iToochPositive reinforcement, progression, built-in calculatorRigid structure, American school system
BBC BitesizeWide range of subjects, activities, levelsBritish curriculum only
AB Math LiteBright and colourful app, freeMostly arithmetic,

Learning Maths Quickly

There are plenty of different reasons you may have to learn maths quickly:

  • Getting ready for exams: GCSE, A Levels, university exams.
  • You’re short on time: You have a busy schedule or are working a lot.
  • For a test: For example, your maths teacher has asked you to master differential equations and complex numbers for your next test and you need a good result.

How long does it take to get good at maths? There are plenty of benefits to getting better at maths. (Source: 777546)

You’ve got your work set out for you. In this case, you might need to work in a group:

  • Making revision sheets
  • Show your working by reciting it aloud
  • Improve your memory through specific mathematical exercises
  • Use past papers to learn more quickly

Remember that maths isn’t just numbers in a random order. Even the simplest maths can be used in your daily life:

  • Problem-solving
  • Improving your short-term and long-term memory
  • Improving your cognitive reactions
  • Broadening your skill set
  • Learning to use different programmes

If you want to learn on your own, you have to be disciplined and use the right learning techniques. You need to motivate yourself with the right maths books and games. You’ll also need to consider your learning style.

If you’re an auditive learner, focus on repetition and repeating things aloud like you did with your multiplication tables at school.

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll probably want to focus on using visual resources and looking at brightly-coloured diagrams.

In short, you can learn maths quite simple if:

  • You focus on mnemonic techniques to help you learn complicated maths equations.
  • You make use of maths games or games that work on your logic and memory.
  • Make the most of all the tools at your disposal, be it online learning resources like MOOCs or free websites with more traditional resources like worksheets and quizzes.

There you have it! Finally, you’ll see that maths isn’t as hard as you first thought.

Studying Maths is Easy

You can make studying maths easier by working with a private tutor. A lot of tutors offer a free taster session so you can make sure that their teaching style works for you. They’ll also tailor their lessons to you:

  • Private maths tutorials
  • Helping with homework
  • A Levels Prep Course
  • Academic support for students in primary school, secondary school, or university
  • Group classes for all ages

How much do private maths tutorials cost? Once you get good at maths, it’ll bring a smile to your face! (Source: Pixapopz)

It doesn’t matter when you start: during the holidays, evenings, or weekends, you’ll be able to organise this with your tutor. If you’re still struggling with fractions, addition and subtraction, or quadratic equations, then consider being taught by a private maths tutor.

You can find experienced and qualified tutors as well as amateurs with a passion for maths who are great at helping kids study maths. Many students who enlist the help of a private tutor end up improving their maths results. A tutor will be able to help you with maths methods and techniques.

Private maths tutorials are different to your typical classes in school because you can do online activities and other interesting activities to help you enjoy learning maths. You also have the freedom to have the tutorials anywhere that works for both you and the tutor. If you enjoy studying in a café or the library, you can have your tutorials there rather than at yours or your tutor’s home.

On Superprof, we have plenty of qualified and experienced tutors offering a variety of different teaching styles. Whether you’re looking for a tutor to come to your house or an online tutor to help you study, you’ll be able to find the right person for you!

Remember that a lot of tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour. Use this time to explain to them what you’re hoping to get out of your maths tutorials, what your goals are, and how long you have to achieve them. Additionally, use this hour to see if you get along with your tutor; the last thing you want is to choose the wrong tutor and end up having to see them regularly!

If you would like to be a mathematician, with a bit of effort, the right free online maths resources and textbooks, you’ll start making a lot of progress in maths. Of course, not everyone is the same and if a certain method isn’t working for you, never be afraid to change your approach.

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