Maths can be a tricky subject for children, and it’s common for them to need a bit of extra support both at school and at home. The more opportunities children have to practise maths, the easier it will become for them. The great news is you can help your child with maths by taking advantage of everyday activities to help them learn and practice, so you don’t necessarily need to arrange extra formal tuition for them. Here the best girls’ school in Surrey explores some great ways you can explore maths at home.
Talk About It Positively
The way you talk about maths around your child can have an impact on how they approach it. The key thing to impress upon them is that maths ability is not set in stone, i.e. it’s not something you’re either good at or not. Make sure you talk about it in a positive way and convey the idea that, with time and effort, it’s possible to get better at it. You might want to talk about your own experiences of maths at school; while it’s okay to empathise if you also struggled with the subject, it’s important for your child to see that you’ve got better at it over time and also that it’s become a useful skill to have in everyday life.
Praise Their Efforts
Confidence is a big factor in how easily children find tackling maths challenges. Make sure you always praise your child for any efforts they put into it, even if they get things wrong. Rather than saying “you’re so good at maths,” say “you’ve worked so hard on your maths” so your child sees that they’re rewarded for effort rather than ability. This will encourage them to keep trying and giving it a go, which is the key to becoming competent in it.
Give Them Plenty of Opportunities to Practise
Many everyday activities can serve as great learning opportunities for your child. Point out that maths is everywhere and get them involved in it. When you’re out shopping together, challenge them to add up the items in your basket and see if they got it right when you get to the checkout. During baking, ask them to help you weigh and measure ingredients. Even playing games can help them learn maths, for example, they could practise counting when building something using blocks or learn about different shapes when making a model.
Communicate With Their Teachers
If your child is still struggling and their maths skills aren’t improving despite regular practice, it might be that they need additional support. Ask for a meeting with their teachers to express your concerns and talk through what the school can do to help. The teachers should be able to identify if your child has a specific learning difficulty in math, such as dyscalculia, but if you’re worried this hasn’t been picked up on, make sure you relay this to the teaching staff so your child can get the support they need to overcome difficulties and improve their maths ability.