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How to help your child with maths

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I often say, Maths isn’t my strong point, but that’s so easily said. It would be more accurate to say I’ve realised Maths isn’t my preference. When my GCSE mock result stood out like a sore thumb my parents agreed to a tutor. I soon caught up but I can’t say I’ve ever relished anything mathematical, but I am so glad I have a good basic grounding.

When I became a parent I worried teaching my children about maths wasn’t going to happen naturally, I’d have to make a concious effort. But then Maths is everywhere, you just have to make a game of it. Here are a few tricks I have counted along the way, which I think I can keep making more challenging as they grow:

Weighing and measuring – a cake, a height chart, a new piece of furniture, your feet, your toys…

Counting things, steps, sweets, coins.

Sharing things fairly between different numbers of people, or toys.

Buying things and budgeting for things from 1p sweets to a bedroom makeover or holiday. How much does this cost, how many of these can we buy with…?

Owning a piggy bank, opening a bank account.

Bus/train timetables – When is the next bus coming. How long should the journey take? Are we earlier or later than planned?

TV schedules – how long is your favourite programme and how many of your favourite programmes fit in the hour of TV I said you could watch? How much do you watch in a week, or on average?

Clocks – What time is is, how long until we have lunch, go out, go to bed? Can you be timekeeper, we need to leave the house at 8.30am?

Timing things like getting dressed, walking to school, can you estimate how long it will take?

Guessing which item in the cupboard is the heaviest, lining them up in order or guessing which plastic container will hold the most water in the bath.

Describing the shapes or even angles in a picture, a junk model, or out and about. Sticking shapes, playing guess my shape by asking questions about the shape.

Maths is about solving problems, so encouraging children to discuss their thinking and share how they solved the problem are brilliant things to encourage.

A few tricks that keep me going, do you have any tips to share?

For more on Maths Tuition for older children click here.

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