It is often said that Maths divides the world in two. Those who find it easy and those who hate it. In actual fact, there’s always a grey area somewhere in the middle. We can’t all be natural mathematicians but if you can help your child to feel confident with maths even though it’s not their favourite subject, then they will be more than able to learn what they need to pass exams.
Help your child to see that maths is fun by engaging them in simple maths as soon as they are old enough to understand language. Begin by counting – count the stairs as you go up or down them. Count the number of apple slices as they go onto the plate, read out bus numbers and point out the numbers on doors as you pass them.
This early exposure to numbers will help your child feel confident when they first encounter maths at school. As your child begins to add and subtract, you can have them assist you in restaurants when totting up the bill or in the supermarket as you place items in your trolley.
Play maths games
You can help your child to go even further in their learning when you support it at home with maths games. A simple game of shop is fun and educational. Collect play money and keep packets, buttons, and beads to use in a play shop. Most children love to play at shop and when they’re the shopkeeper they need to add up all of your purchases.
Familiarise yourself with the curriculum
When you know what’s coming, you can be prepared to help! You might need to brush up on your own skills in order to assist your child and if so, then that’s a good thing! You should also keep an open dialogue with your child’s teachers so you can stay on top of their progress.
If needed, a maths tutor is a good idea. Sometimes, university students will charge very reasonable prices to tutor. Make sure your child’s tutor is properly registered though. As the Headteacher of this independent college in London suggests, specialist and one-to-one help can make all the difference.
Get them excited about maths
Above all, try to get your child excited about maths! How about watching some maths-based movies as a way of inspiring your child? Here are some recommendations, but be sure to check they are age appropriate first:
- A Beautiful Mind
- Queen of Katwe
- The Martian
- October Sky
- Hidden Figures
If you can engage your child on as many different levels as possible, their interest in maths should grow along with their confidence.