Tips for Teaching Math to Slow Learners

Mar 04, 2021

Math is generally considered one of the toughest subjects for students of all ages and for slow learners, math is more like a nightmare. For the slow learners, the tutors need to be twice careful as their fear of math is much more than the ordinary learners. 

The tips and strategies for teaching math to slow learners can vary from tutor to tutor. In case, you have got your first slow learner and you are struggling to strategize your math teaching, the following tips may help you a lot.

Find out Exactly What is Problematic

All the slow learners do not have the same characteristics – therefore, the best math tutors first try to figure out why the learner is learning slower than others. The student may have some health issues that slow down their learning. It is also possible that their inability to question the tutor keeps the concepts unclear or they somehow have a perception that the teacher or tutor will scold him/her if she question. 

Child psychology is definitely very complex and the tutor needs to become friendly with the learner first to understand the exact gap before teaching the candidate. 

Be Reliable to the Learner 

The tutor first needs to make the slow learners comfortable – the learner must have the belief that the tutor is good and no matter what the tutor will not scold. A child will reveal own problem only in his or her comfort zone and a good math tutor has to create that particular comfort zone for the learner. 

This is not a very easy task and it may take much time. The tutor needs to be very patient and caring while dealing with the candidates. Only then, the student will have the confidence to reveal their difficulties in math to the tutors. 

Focus on the Basic Concepts

No matter how expert you are in math, to teach a slow learner, you have to explain the basic concepts in easier words repetitively. So, be prepared for that. The shortcut techniques and tricks will not work with these candidates; rather, the simple basics can help them a lot. 

Plug-in Relevant and Real-world Examples

Teaching math to slow learners is all about making things enjoyable for them without forcing them. Here, using real-world examples can assist the math tutors. 
For example, to teach the basics of addition and subtraction, tutors can use candy or pencils instead of just numbers. Also, replacing the names, with the name of the learner and his/her friends, can be very relevant here. 

Go Stepwise 

As an expert in math, it can be really useful for you to skip a step. But when you are teaching a slow learner, skipping a step can make the sum more difficult for the slow learner. Therefore, it is always recommended to go stepwise while teaching them. 

Be Creative 

As a math tutor, you can go to any extent to make your teaching creative, so that it appears interesting to the learner. You can make a PowerPoint presentation to make the concepts clear. Alternatively, you can choose a particular setting to teach mathematics to them. 

Keep the Class Short – Allow Breaks

Remember, your student is a slow learner and probably has a fear of math. So, a math class cannot go for long – to make the candidate easy at the beginning, keep the duration of the class short. 

In case, you want to take a long-duration class, allow the candidate to take a break, this will refresh the candidates and they can concentrate on the lesson more after taking the break. 

Review and Reward Them

Don’t forget to review the candidates after a certain time to make sure the learner has not forgotten the previous methods. 
Rewarding the candidates can also make them interested in math. However, the reward here does not mean anything expensive – a few words of appreciation, a smiley, or even chocolate can work as a reward here. 

Don’t give regular rewards to the learner because it may develop a bad habit of expecting rewards daily in the learner. 


That’s all about teaching math to slow learners. It is expected that the level of distraction will not be much while teaching math to the slow learners because either the math tutors teach the slow learners individually or in very small batches. Therefore, be consistent and patient are the key to success while teaching math to slow learners. 

Parents hire math tutors for their slow child to ensure, the child is enjoying the lesson and tutor’s company. As a math tutor, you are free to use your creativity for this purpose. 

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Teaching a slow learner is always difficult and when the subject is math, teaching becomes even more difficult. The tutors for slow learners need to be friendly with the student to pace up their learning. Along with that, they need to strategize their teaching to make the lessons more effective. 


With a passion for writing, Rachita is in the field of content writing for more than 5 years. Here, she writes the blogs for MyPrivateTutor Singapore. Being a literature student, she has a strong addiction to reading as well. On a lazy day, she just needs a cozy setting and her favorite book or web series. 

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