Children are exposed to maths every day and everywhere. But once your child goes to school, she’ll start learning maths in a more formal way. You can help your child with maths by supporting her schoolwork at home and highlighting maths in daily life.
Learning maths: connecting school and home Learning maths doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. Once your child starts school, you still have a big role to play in helping him build maths and numeracy skills. Here are some ways that you can support your child in learning maths skills at home at all ages:
Some primary schools have maths information sessions to show parents how their children are learning maths. If this doesn’t happen at your child’s school, you can ask the teacher how the children are learning maths in class. This can help you understand how to help your child at home. You might even be able to help in the classroom during maths sessions.
Maths skills and everyday numeracy 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. For example, by building maths questions into activities that your child enjoys, you’re helping your child make sense of everyday situations and develop numeracy at the same time. Here are some examples of questions you could ask your child about different everyday activities:
And here are some examples of everyday activities you can do with your school-age child:
When you and your child apply maths knowledge and numeracy skills in everyday situations, it helps your child see and enjoy the value in using maths.
Concerns about your school-age child’s maths learning It can take time for children to develop the confidence and understanding to handle maths problems. But if your child has been struggling for several months, even with one-to-one help, it might be a sign that your child needs extra support with learning maths. If you notice any of the following signs by the time your child has entered Primary 2 to Primary 4, it might be a good idea to talk with your child’s teacher.
Numbers and counting Your child has trouble:
Quantity, size and order Your child has trouble:
Maths concepts Your child has trouble:
Symbols and rules Your child has trouble:
Patterns Your child has trouble:
These difficulties can affect your child’s motivation and confidence with learning, and stop him from taking part in and enjoying maths activities with his peers. Your child’s teacher might recommend a range of supports, including assessment by an educational psychologist. This is often the first step towards getting the right support for your child. Your feelings about maths influence how your child thinks about maths and about herself as a mathematician. Even if you’ve grown up thinking that you’re not very good at maths, you can show your child that you have a positive attitude to maths. This is important for her success at school.
How children learn maths at school Mathematics is one of the key learning areas in the curriculum at school. Children will probably spend a minimum of five hours each week formally learning mathematical concepts. Maths today is about understanding number patterns, not just memorising information. Maths education in the early school years focuses on:
Your child will look at things like numbers, money, patterns, measurements, shapes and fractions. In the classroom, your child will learn maths in many 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. Your child will also develop numeracy at school as he learns how maths skills are important in everyday experiences. For example, the concepts of first, second, third and place order will come up when your child takes part in school athletics – or even just lining up for class. As your child moves through primary school, teachers will give her opportunities to use maths knowledge and skills in other subject areas – for example, she learns about volume when she measures ingredients for a recipe. This helps your child see that maths is connected to all parts of life and it further encourages her numeracy development.
Video: Math In Daily Activities
Introduce the world of numbers to your little one through day-to-day activities! Here, we share how simple activities can help your little one make sense of everyday situations and develop numeracy at the same time.
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