How to help your child at home
Here are some general tips to ensure your child feels comfortable when using the language of mathematics:
Try to make maths as much fun as possible – games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It’s also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.
Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.
Don’t shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child.
Specific tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:
* Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
* Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
* Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
* Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.
* Play games involving numbers and/or logic, such as card games, dominoes, darts, draughts, chess etc.;
* Stimulate your child’s thinking at times of boredom, (such as when travelling), with mental activities;
What do you do at home?
At the recent mathematics workshops we asked how you help your children at home. An original and extensive and list was generated, showing that we have a well-informed, active and knowledgeable parent body.
Measuring, converting, following procedures, accuracy.
Setting the table for guests.
Planning budgets, prices and change during shopping trips. (You could also compare and measure clothes sizes)
Giving pocket money and developing the idea of saving for something.
Converting money using real exchange rates.
Using train timetables to make decisions about when to leave the house and when you will arrive.
Using the clock to ask about time
Record exercises (times, reps etc…)
Math Rice Fun Lessons
King of Math
Cool Math 4 Kids
Maths is Fun
A Plus Maths
A Maths Dictionary for Kids
Monopoly (Bank manager is a great chance to give responsibility to your child)
Computer games like Tetris
Building blocks/LEGO – This develops spatial awareness in 3 dimensions.
It was also pointed out that in order to succeed in helping your child, you should:
- Stay calm
- Use humour and find relaxed situations in which to talk about mathematical concepts
- Use a range of tactile/visual media….not just memorisation or writing traditional “sums”
- Act like a peer instead of a teacher/expert….pretend that you are learning something new from your child
- If you are making your child memorise or practice “traditional” sums (multiplication tables, or worksheets) try to make them meaningful by providing concrete/hands-on experiences to accompany them or real life situations in which to construct meaning for this highly abstract concept.
Thank-you to everyone who contributed ideas. If you have anything else that you can share please add to this blog as a comment.
David Goddard email@example.com