This article, ' Make Britain Count, Stop telling children maths isn't for them) is a thought-provoking read, and might inspire you to support your child in different ways; in it, Professor Jo Boaler sets out this list of top tips for parents who want to support their child in Maths:
Encourage children to play maths puzzles and games at home. Anything with a dice will help them enjoy maths and develop numeracy and logic skills.
- Never tell children they are wrong when they are working on maths problems. There is always some logic to what they are doing. So if your child multiplies three by four and gets seven, try: “Oh I see what you are thinking, you are using what you know about addition to add three and four. When we multiply we have four groups of three…”
- Maths is not about speed. In younger years, forcing kids to work fast on maths is the best way to start maths anxiety, especially among girls.
- Don’t tell your children you were bad at maths at school. Or that you disliked it. This is especially important if you are a mother.
- Encourage number sense*. What separates high and low achievers in primary school is number sense.
- Encourage a “growth mindset” – the idea that ability changes as you work more and learn more.Research shows that children really need to work on ‘number sense’ – the understanding of what a number means and how numbers can be made up.
- For younger children, the ‘five-ness’ of five and then the ‘ten-ness’ of ten is really important: five fingers, five toes, five displayed on a dice, five split into 4 and one more, five split into three and two…
- For older children, if they are asked to add up 27 and 16, when they have number sense they can break the numbers apart and use them flexibly – take three from the 16 and add it to 27 to make 30, then add on the remaining 13 to make 43.