Struggling with maths

Does your child struggle with maths? Our younger ones need a lot of support and encouragement when starting their math journey, as do our older children. They also need to know that maths can be fun. It is only when something is fun that we want to do it again and again. That's the challenge. If you don't like maths yourself - how can you encourage your child to like it?

Are they way behind where they should be? I know my grandson is having real problems with maths. We have just started homeschooling and although I knew he was having problems before, it is much worse than I thought it was.

We often need to work through the same problems in different ways. Finding ways in which to apply the maths he is learning.

Time for action!

Over the next few weeks I will be adding some ideas on how to go right back to the beginning and develop his maths skills.

Maths is a strange thing to learn. Yes - you can learn the times tables by singing songs. Yes you can manage to do basic calculations by remembering them from before. Yes you can name the basic shapes.

But if you don't understand how numbers work than you can never get beyond the basics.

Help your child get beyond the basics.

If you need to, don't be frightened to go right back to the beginning. Playing lots of games that involve numbers is always a good thing. Use concrete objects. Some children are very much hands on learners and they need to handle objects and manipulate them to be able to understand them. But that's fine! counting blocks should not be just for children in Reception to play with.

Making numbers fun. Finding out the different ways numbers are used.

Playing card and board games.

Making tally charts of anything and everything.

Looking for shapes all around.

Using shapes to draw stunning pictures.

Measuring everything from the time it takes to do something to the length of a biscuit tin.

Cook with your child a lot because that involves sooo much maths.

Talk about numbers and write out shopping list.

Work out how much it would cost to host a party.

Talk about how many boiled eggs you need to cook this morning.

Use rulers and tape measures

Use computer games for maths

Learn how to group items and to count those groups

Talk about how to share out the chocolate bar so that each person gets an even piece

Helping with DIY jobs around the house

Designing a new room and working out how much floor covering etc

Arts and crafts - working out what resources are needed and how much they will cost

Maths has its on special language. It also has a lot of different ways of saying the same thing. You need to use this language often when talking to your child so that they become familiar with it in the same way they are familiar with the everyday language you speak all the time. But you can use that language in everyday situations so they become used to the terms.

When your child is ready, move them on to the next part in their learning.

Don't teach skills in isolation. Learn an area of maths when you need to learn it.

For example - If you want to find out the perimeter of an area - then introduce the term, look at how you can use multiplication to work it out, relate it to repeated addition, use ruler skills to draw out the area, use squared paper to count etc.

They need to understand why something happens. If I do this and this then this will happen. Encourage them to explain their work - this is most important because if they can explain it then they will understand it better.

When they understand the basics, then they are ready to tackle much, much more.

Become more confident yourself with maths!!!

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