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Help with maths


Think for a moment about what you could teach your child every time you plant a garden, prepare a meal, play a sport, plan a holiday or party, take out a loan or read a timetable. You are demonstrating, in a very real way, that mathematics is part of everyday living. The mathematics used at home and at work (measurements and calculations) is an important part of the mathematics children learn at school.

Mathematics holds a natural fascination for children.

Some of the ways parents can help foster and develop this and reinforce the child's school learning include:

  • when shopping, ask students to compare prices and sizes in order to select the best buy;
  • recording shopping items on a calculator and comparing with checkout totals;
  • involving students with home improvement projects that include measuring;
  • when cooking, ask students to estimate the amount of flour, volume of milk or length of cooking time;
  • asking students to interpret graphs used in newspapers, magazines, posters, charts and television;
  • making available games and puzzles involving mathematics;
  • including books on the lives of famous mathematicians or mathematical discoveries as part of the family's reference collection;
  • allowing students to read and interpret road maps during family trips;
  • asking students to check answers and explain how they worked out answers to mathematical problems;
  • taking part in counting activities with younger children and using terms such as first, second ………tenth; and
  • spending a few minutes each day asking some number facts and revising those that are not known.

Parents and other caregivers share the “real world” of mathematics with their children. Parents, whether they realise it or not, are experts at applying mathematics to everyday situations.