Homeschoolers are constantly on the hunt for a good math aid, book or program. Longtime educator and mentoring teacher Laurie Beesting saw the same problems continually pop up when tutoring math to students of differing ages.
She realized that the common denominator was a lack of a mastering of basic concepts and a serious lack in confidence. She created “Bridge the Gap Math™”.to not only pinpoint those vital math concepts in a way that children, and parents, could easily understand and master, but increase their confidence quotient as well. Through the end of June, she is offering a 10% discount on books! Use discount code VKZ10 at checkout. Beesting will be featured in the online Reimagining Education conference For $10, you can get access to more than 150 seminars. The conference is designed for parents who are looking for more options during the Covid-19 school closures and reorganization.
Common Problems Leads to Inspiration
Beesting is an educator of 30 years and is currently an education specialist in BC, Canada. The book has been gaining ardent followers since its debut 8 years ago. The inspiration for the labor of love “Bridge the Gap Math™” came from her time as a mentoring teacher in the UK.
“I saw that in grades 5, 6 and 7 that the kids’ confidence just dropped and the children were feeling very low,” Beesting said. In her lilting British accent. “They were getting anxious.”
As word spread about Beestings techniques and results, older children in high school began to come to her.
“I had a bit of a lightbulb moment,” she said. “The common bits that all the students were finding hard were the same. It was amazing, this common list that just needed putting into a format. I had a list of the concepts that tended to be the problems. I started to take more of an ordered form and broke it down into what was most important.”
She removed the grade level of the work that the kids were struggling with, which made quite a difference in their confidence levels. They focused more on the concept, rather than the fact that this was something they should have mastered in the lower elementary grades.
“I don’t tell the student or the parent which grade the concept is from,” she said. “They can go back and work on grade 4 concept and not get embarrassed. The dignity side of it was really important. The idea was to step in early and have kids feel good about the fundamentals.”
What Makes ‘Bridge the Gap Math’ Different
She worked diligently on creating a book that is a replica of her one-on-one lesson plan.
“I saw a lot of slumped shoulders, confidence was rock bottom when kids would come to me,” she said. “After going through these methods, they were quickly seeing success and it would raise their opinion of themselves.”
It’s important to get in early and give kids confidence before they go to far in struggling with math, she said.
A side effect of working with “Bridge the Gap Math™” is that parents also gain confidence in helping their children.
“Parents wanted to help their children but didn’t know quite where to begin,” Beesting said. “Don’t get hung up on grades, forget about their age, what their peers are doing and put that to one side and start where they are right now, because that’s the only way you can start.”
Work That Math Muscle
Parents shouldn’t assume that children know basic math problems within the book or skip pages.
“I’ve found you get surprises, even from grade A students,” Beesting said. “Their child knows it and the parents just think ‘Great, I know it’s solidly in place.’ A big mistake.”
To use the book, Beesting recommends thoroughly reading the intro, which goes into detail on how to use the four units of the book, and using the record-keeping chart. The child will go from “I can’t” to “I know I can” when going back over the chart and seeing what they have accomplished.
“Please do use the ‘I can’ and ‘I know’ list,” Beesting said. “That gives the child the ownership for their own learning.”
Finally, relax. Math can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to learn these concepts, at any age.
“Don’t compare your child with others and don’t compare your homeschool day with others,” Beesting said. “Do what feels right. Use the record-keeping system in the book, do the warm-up to the letter together. Go over even old concepts, and oral quick fire (drills). Give yourself a whole week going over old concepts. Have a whole week when you go back and check up on concepts. Once you say you get it, it can still fade away a little.”
To learn more about “Bridge the Gap Math™”, go to:
Using the book/4 short videos: https://www.bridgethegapmath.ca/usingthebook
Sample pages: https://www.bridgethegapmath.ca/sample-pages-2