How can I help my child learn at home?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked year after year.
“What the hand does, the mind remembers”
Learning in numeracy takes place all around us and not just in the classroom!
Raising our children’s, and our own, awareness of maths helps them understand that it’s part of how the world is put together and how we can understand it.
“Parents are a child’s first and most enduring educators, and their influence cannot be overestimated.”
Review of Mathematics teaching in Early Years Settings and Primary Schools, Sir Peter Williams 2008
Many teachers and parents get children to memorise rules and facts in math lessons when in actual fact children learn best when they are engaged in hands on activities. Jo Boaler explains in her book Mathematical Mindset that, “It is this approach to early learning about numbers that causes damages to students, makes them think that being successful at math is about recalling facts at speed, and pushes them onto a procedural pathway that works against their development of a mathematical mindset.”
There are lots of things we can do to support our children’s learning in mathematics. For instance, by using the everyday experiences and resources that we find around the home, we can make this fun and engaging.
Here are some easy and FUN activities that you can try with your child to develop mental arithmetic.
- Be positive about maths! Never say things like “I can’t do maths” or “I hated maths at school” – Your child might start to think like that themselves.
- Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving numbers and measuring – activities such as shopping, cooking and travelling.
- Praise your child for effort rather than talent. This develops a growth mindset and shows them that by working hard they can always improve and achieve more.
“Perhaps the single most important thing that parents can do to help their children with maths is to pass on a positive attitude.”
Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist
These links are filled with games and resources to help support your child at home with maths:
I Am a Mathematician has lots of great ideas and resources to use with your child at home.
Top Marks has lots of interactive games to support learning.
Education Scotland has great ideas to build numeracy into everyday activities at home.
Oxford Owl has lots of activities to support home learning.
The BBC has some additional activities to support home learning.