Learning maths doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. Your child has been learning about maths since she was born. And once your child starts school, you still have a big role in helping her continue to build maths and numeracy skills.
Here are some ways that you can support your child in learning maths skills at home at all ages:
- Ask about what maths topics your child is learning at school and talk about how maths can help with everyday activities.
- Be available to help your child with maths revision.
- Use objects, words, numbers, pictures, drawings or symbols to help your child understand maths problems.
- Encourage your child to show you how she worked out a maths problem.
- Encourage your child to try different ways to solve maths problems, especially when he gets the wrong answer.
Numeracy is the ability to apply maths concepts in all areas of life – and there are endless ways you and your child can do this together..
Here are some examples of questions you could ask your child about different everyday activities:
- How many oranges did we get in the bag?
- What’s the volume of the milk carton?
- How much money do you need for the canteen at school?
And here are some examples of everyday activities you can do with your school-age child:
- In the car: look at number plates or street signs and ask your child to read the numbers, order them from highest to lowest, and add them up or multiply them.
- On public transport: look at maps, timetables and signs to work out how many minutes between each bus, how many stops to your destination, or how long it will take to get there.
- At the shops or markets: look at price differences. Guess how many apples you get in a kilogram and then compare this with another fruit.
Maths today is about understanding numbers, patterns and problem-solving, not just memorising information. Maths education in the primary school years focuses on:
- learning numbers
- linking numbers with quantity, size and order
- learning maths language
- recognising patterns and shapes
- showing numbers as numerals, groups of objects, dots on dice and so on
- understanding statistics.
In the classroom, your child will learn maths in lots of different ways – through watching the teacher work out maths problems, doing problems, talking about problems, drawing and writing, playing games, and using calculators, computers and other materials.