Does anyone else need to lie down in a dark room after trying to help their child with maths homework?  Maybe it is just me?  I am guessing not..

As soon as the dreaded alert, “Your child has one Sparx Maths homework task to complete,” pops up on my phone, a sense of dread washes over me.  I know this means an hour of stress and arguing as I try to explain challenging maths concepts to a reluctant Year 9 student, who would rather be on Tik Tok.

“This isn’t how my teacher showed us in class,” she mumbles irritably under her breath, “You are doing it wrong,” she adds, less politely.  Experience has taught me not to react for I know this will give her the perfect excuse to escape to the refuge of her bedroom and as far away from changing ratios as she can possibly get.

We get there in the end.  Both swearing that we will never work together again… until the next time I receive that alert!

After my thirty-minute, darkened room recovery session, I realise that her intense dislike of maths is mostly down to a lack of understanding and non-existent confidence.  She is in a constant state of fight or flight when it comes to this subject and this is not her fault.  Having missed much of Year 6 and 7 due to the Covid restrictions, she has enormous gaps in her mathematical knowledge and, with a fast-paced curriculum, there is no time to catch up.  The gaps enlarge at an alarming rate while her confidence shrinks and (frighteningly) she starts her GCSE course in September.

If only I could reassure you that this was an isolated case but sadly not.  As a teacher of children in Years 3-6, I see this every single day with new students who join my lessons.  As do the rest of our team of primary and secondary maths teachers.

Imagine you have just started to learn how to ice-skate and as you are tottering along, holding onto the side for support, the instructor asks you to perform a spin in the air.  Hold on a minute, you would think, I can barely stand up yet let alone start doing tricks.  Yet, when it comes to mathematical concepts, we do this to children all the time.  They are expected to be able to add fractions with different denominators when they have yet to fully grasp equivalent fractions.

Please don’t think I am blaming schools for this.  I am not.  They have a mountain to climb in terms of covering the content required in a limited amount of time.  BUT this means there is no time for a lack of understanding – you have to keep plodding onwards (but definitely not upwards.)

Time for some good news -this problem is easily solved.  Most children just need a little longer to grasp concepts and then they fly.  Soar even.  This is where my team and I come in.  We DO have time to revisit the more challenging areas of the curriculum.  We CAN work slowly and methodically, ensuring that our students have a full understanding before moving onto the next stage.  As fully qualified and highly experienced teachers, we KNOW the objectives that children find most challenging and we ARE able to build confidence, raise attainment and build progress as a result.

Tuition should be an option for EVERY child and this has always been our philosophy.  We provide high quality lessons from as little as £10 per session, the same as just two large soya lattes with vanilla (my coffee of choice!)  Sacrificing a couple of (grossly overpriced) hot drinks is a very small price to pay for my sanity and, in all honesty, my daughter learns much better from someone else anyway!

I encourage you to give it a try – we offer a complimentary trial group lesson for all new students and you will notice the difference immediately.

Please email for more information, call 07383421771 or visit our website at for details.