LOS ANGELES (ANN): It is a challenge faced by many parents - getting their child to get up to speed in mathematics.
American actress Hilary Duff, 32, recently counted herself among these anxious mums and dads.
Posting recently, she wrote about coaching her son Luca, seven: "Homework is already no joke in second grade.
"I stopped going to 'real' school in third grade so I am actually doomed... I'm left scratching my head all the time looking at his homework and I'm terrified for (what's coming up) next year."
Duff started her career at a young age.
But after calculating that she needs help, she has stocked up on books by a company called Singapore Math.
She pays tribute to the publisher in her post, describing its stuff as "the s***".
That term is American slang for "excellent".
On their website, Singapore Math founders Jeffery and Dawn Thomas trace how they tapped the approach taken by Singapore's Ministry of Education.
"Our commitment to this mission began over 20 years ago when we introduced the world to Singapore mathematics," they write.
"When we moved from Singapore to the US, we found our daughter's public school mathematics programme lacking. We began to supplement her education with the curriculum used at her previous school in Singapore."
"Through this process, we realised that the Singapore method was uniquely effective and that it would be useful to other parents and teachers in our community."
"We started selling the original Singapore Math programme, Primary Mathematics, from our home in 1998 to share this powerful approach."
"We know that a foundation in Singapore mathematics creates the conditions for future success, and our goal is to make the finest mathematics education in the world available to as many students as possible."
They added that "Singapore consistently ranks at the top in international mathematics testing".
While that achievement is also a matter of pride for many Singaporean parents, it also brings stress, with extra tuition lined up for their kids.
This year, there were reports that the Primary School Leaving Examination mathematics test was so difficult that it left some pupils in tears.
But with Luca not taking mathematics tests any time soon, Duff should not be distracted too much from her current involvement in the reboot of Lizzie McGuire, a comedy which ran on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2004. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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