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Our Favourite Tips for Helping your Child with Maths

So much emphasis is placed on learning to read and write, that the importance of maths is sometimes overlooked. So here are a few tips to make maths more fun

 

While the national curriculum may be changing, the different areas of maths reliably studied are usually: number and counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals and percentages, geometry, measurement, and data handling (e.g. graphs and charts).

Whether it's in the classroom or at home, it is key for children to develop problem solving skills and the ability to think logically. We know things have changed since you were in school, and parents are often reluctant to try their hand at maths homework.

Even if you're not particularly at ease with maths yourself, you can still make a positive impact on your child's numeracy confidence and ability.

Communicating with your child's school

It's a good idea to communicate with your child's school so you understand what they will be learning about at any particular time.

You could:

  • Find out if the school is holding a curriculum meeting for parents - it might detail how maths is being taught, and how you can help at home
  • Read the school prospectus or look on the website for more information about the wider curriculum
  • Speak with your child's class teacher after school if you have a quick query or concern about lessons and progress, or wait for open evenings or parent consultation meetings - it's best to book an appointment if you have an urgent concern that needs more time to discuss
  • Offer to sit in and help in a classroom if you can; teachers are often glad to have extra support, and you'll get an insight into what your child is learning.

Making maths fun for your child

Maths doesn't have to feel like work! Try to think of it as something that can be played: computer games, sports or board games. There are numerous games, apps and maths websites out there that exist to make maths a fun challenge...

You might also like to try an activity book, or visit a website to download some printables for younger children. Encourage your child to play cards or board games that involve calculations; for example, Snakes and Ladders, and Monopoly.   

Children will be familiar with using technology in both structured and independent maths learning; from using interactive whiteboards as a whole class to working in smaller groups on a tablet or desktop PC.

Duplicating something they're familiar with can be really useful when you want to encourage your child to bring maths home and sharpen up their skills.

Using maths in everyday life

Primary school children have a daily maths lesson as part of the national curriculum, but an easy way to boost their skills and motivation is by illustrating how handy number skills are to everything we do on a day-to-day basis.

You can have fun with mathematics:

  • In the comfort of your own home - get weighing, measuring, observing temperatures and timings in the kitchen, or make models and different shapes
  • On a shopping trip - encourage your child to weigh fruit and vegetables, give them a shopping budget to stick to, and see if they can calculate how much change you'll have left at the end of your trip
  • In the car - count how many times you see a particular item on the road, play number plate games, and get them calculating speed (that's distance divided by time, for anyone who's a little rusty with numbers!)
  • Measuring your child's height - kids love this, especially figuring out how much they've grown since the last time you checked.

More maths related information

 
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