Top Tips for Parents

Top Tips for Parents – How to support your child with Maths

Top Tip 1 - Be positive about Maths!

May people openly claim they don’t like Maths or they’re not good at it, unintentionally conveying the message that this is okay.  Unfortunately, this can have a detrimental effect on the children who hear these messages.   

As a parent, be conscious of displaying positive attitudes towards mathematics, even when it’s challenging.   Adopting what is referred to as a ‘growth mindset’ allows children to acknowledge that mathematics is challenging, but not impossible.   The sense of achievement once you’ve solved a challenging problem is wonderful.

Rather than saying “I can’t do it” or “it’s too hard”, say things like, “I can’t do it yet” or “let’s work on this together”.   

Top Tip 2 - Make Maths part of everyday activities

Bring Maths into daily conversations and activities with your child.   After all, there’s Maths in everything we do.   For example, if you’re cooking you might ask your child to help you measure out ingredients.   If you’re shopping, you could have a little competition to see who can make the best estimation of the total grocery bill or perhaps ask your child to work out the amount of change (this may be challenging given that we use credit cards most of the time).

If your child likes to play digital games, download some Maths Apps so they can use their screen time to learn while having fun at the same time.  Alternatively, traditional games can provide opportunities to talk about Maths and help your child.  Games that use dominoes and playing cards are great for young children as are board games such as Snakes and Ladders or Monopoly.  Even non-numerical games such as Guess Who have benefits for Mathematics because the promote problem solving and strategic thinking, important mathematical skills.

Top Tip 3 - Talk to us!

It’s important that we work together.   Let us know if your child is struggling with their homework.   Try to come to any of the Maths workshops we run.   Parents who work with their child’s teacher, be proactive in their child’s education, and demonstrate positive attitudes towards Mathematics will make a huge difference to their child’s success at school.   It’s an investment worth making.

 

Top Tip 4 - Know what Maths your child is learning

Mathematics teaching and learning has changed significantly over the last few decades.    There are several useful videos and documents to help you with the various methods we teach under the ‘Guidance and Support’ tab in Maths.

One of the most common complaints when it comes to school Mathematics is that children don’t ‘know’ their multiplication tables.   Is this important? Yes, it’s vital that children gain fluency when dealing with numbers.   However, it’s important that we don’t just rely on rote learning, or repetition.   Children need to understand how the numbers work.   In other words, they need to be numerate, and have a flexibility with numbers.   Once they understand, then fluency can be built.   Using Maths games is a good way of getting children to build up speed with number facts.

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