Enrichment refer to activities that enhance learning and extend knowledge beyond the school curriculum. Maths enrichment classes in particular have gained popularity in recent years as parents desire to improve their child’s skill and dexterity in the subject and even prepare him or her for competitions and tournaments.
Some people have the idea that maths enrichment is only about repeating what is taught in schools, or giving the child some additional challenging problems to do. However, maths enrichment classes should not be just a fancy rebranding of maths tuition. Enrichment activities should give the learner the opportunity to hone creativity and imagination, develop an overall enthusiasm for the subject, and cultivate a desire for lifelong learning.
In maths tuition classes, the focus is on mastering what has been taught in school and preparing students to take examinations. The target audience therefore comprises of students who are struggling with their work, have difficulty understanding the subject, need help in the more challenging exam questions, or who simply wish to improve their ability in mathematics so that they can get that coveted distinction in their finals. Enrichment classes on the other hand are catered more for students who are already comfortable with their school work but who could benefit from exposure to the interesting and creative aspects of mathematics.
As a parent, how can you tell if maths enrichment classes are beneficial for your child?
The enrichment classes should not be an additional source of stress, particularly if your child already needs to spend all of his or her free time trying to catch up on school work. If your child enjoys the classes, is happy at the end of each session and looks forward to the next one, and demonstrates the ability to pick up the skills taught, then he or she is benefitting from it. Maths enrichment programmes should not replace regular tuition classes and consultation sessions. Their role should be complementary to maths tuition and should foster an atmosphere where knowledge is applied imaginativity and creatively.
Enrichment classes are probably too much for the child to handle if he or she no longer has time to bond with the rest of the family or attend other social functions. If the child is already having too many classes, that will dampen his enthusiasm for learning in general. On the other hand, if the child is really into mathematics and is positive about enrichment activities, then he or she can probably manage the schedule well even if it is a busy one.