8th standard is quite an important year as it finalises the foundation built for the next 4 very crucial years in a students schooling career. The topics covered here are a mix of simple things that have been taught in younger classes such as basic geometry, data handling, ratios and percentages. However, newer concepts are also introduced such as graphs, exponents and powers, factorisation, and algebra. Dealing with so many new topics can be quite challenging, and might hamper a child’s success in their exams. But worry not, there are quite a few ways to ensure your child is completely prepared for these exams and can pass their math class without any difficulty.
Making good use of the textbook
Many students are under the wrong impression that whatever is taught in class is sufficient knowledge. However, this is not true, especially for a subject like maths. Math requires a lot of hard work and cannot solely depend on how much a teacher covers in a classroom setting. It is the students’ responsibility to do plenty of work by themselves outside of their class. This can include revision of the concepts covered in class so that they are more familiar with it and can retain that information for longer.
Another way to continue their learning outside a classroom is to use the textbook wisely. Textbooks are carefully compiled by experts, and a lot of consideration goes into explaining the concepts in an age-appropriate manner. It is important to also go through the textbook in your own time. Often, teachers may skip over parts that may not require a lot of clarification, to be able to cover significant content in the short amount of time at school. These details could be crucial to a child’s understanding of a topic, and so going through the same chapters in the textbook, even after a teacher has taught that concept, can be beneficial.
There are also numerous solved examples and practice problems provided in the reference material. While many of these problems may already be assigned as homework, the solved examples can be resolved for additional practice. Often, teachers skip to the questions at the end of each chapter for homework. However, there are many questions at the end of every concept within a chapter itself. Solving this for practice is a very good way of revising the concepts and becoming more familiar with solving problems.
Using additional resources
For many children, using only the textbook may not be enough for them to grasp a concept fully. This is where other resources around them come into play. From asking a parent or sibling for help to external tutoring or even resources on the internet, the opportunities are endless!
- Getting family members involved may make the learning process easier, more engaging and fun, especially helpful for students who cannot focus in a larger classroom setting, and thrive in intimate, attentive environments.
- External coaching, again, can help with students who need more personalised attention, and parents themselves don’t have the time to tutor their children.
- The internet provides many things such as:
- Worksheets, and other printables: textbook questions could get monotonous and boring, and to maintain a child’s focus, they may require something more stimulating. There are many fun and interactive worksheets and math activities online available for different age groups, different chapters and even different syllabi!
- Sometimes, students may struggle with a certain chapter in a textbook and require help with understanding how to solve those questions. In such cases, they can look up the exercise and textbook, for example, “Exercise 8A of RS Aggarwal Class 8 Maths Solutions”, to find customised help for the specific exercise.
- Exam practice: being comfortable in an exam setting is more important than a lot of parents realise. Such conditions could be incredibly stressful to students, even at this age. Therefore, practising solving mock tests in exam settings can be crucial in helping your child develop good exam-taking practices such as a calm, composed and focused demeanour, and also solving problems efficiently. There are exam simulations you can find online, and in different formats, such as MCQ’s, timed exams, quizzes etc., to make your child more adept at solving numericals faster.
Improving mental math skills
While this is already something that is nurtured in common classroom settings in India, it is also important to reinforce this away from the classroom. Mental math is essential to being able to solve numericals at a faster pace. This is especially beneficial in an exam setting so your child is not stressed about not finishing the paper on time, and has enough time at the end of the exam to check their work and minimise any mistakes made. There are fun ways to improve mental math such as interactive activities online, or frequent pop quizzes by a parent etc. Regardless of how it is done, mental math is known to keep your child’s brain sharp thus making it easier for them to grasp, understand and apply mathematical concepts.
Many overlook this crucial part of a child’s mathematical proficiency and understanding. While this is not something that is done in classroom settings, it is important to at least expose children to this outside of the classroom. From basic arithmetic with ingredients while cooking/ baking to money management etc. it is still possible to find examples in everyday life to further aid your child’s understanding of a specific mathematical concept.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is only possible with the concepts taught in lower classes. As children progress to higher grades and learn more complex and advanced topics, it may not always be possible to easily incorporate the practical applications of these concepts in everyday life.
While this list may seem slightly overwhelming, in essence, they are quite basic and simple ways to make your child’s learning more holistic, fun and engaging, so they continue to stay interested and motivated that has a strong possibility of translating into an effortlessly exemplary performance in their maths exam.