Maths & My Family
Why is Numeracy important?
Maths is everywhere. It’s in everything we do. Numeracy – or ‘everyday maths’ – isn’t just about classroom sums. Being numerate is a life skill that will help your child in many ways, at home, at school, and one day, at work too. Try the resource "Essentials of numeracy" at the foot of this page.
“Perhaps the single most important thing that parents can do to help their children with maths is to pass on a positive attitude.”
(Tanya Byron, clinical psychologist, professor in public understanding of science)
Don’t say things like ‘I can’t do maths’ or ‘I hated maths at school’… your child might start to think like that themselves…
Praise effort – this shows that by working hard they can always improve.
Do talk about the maths in everyday life, and ask your child how they work out problems or questions.
Do let your child enjoy talking about what they’ve learned, and praise them when they try hard.
Don’t put pressure on your child to do written or timed sums.
Do try out the National Numeracy Challenge yourself – the more confident you feel, the more you’ll be able to help your child.
Estimate - ask your child to guess how much your shopping will cost, or how much more food you'll need if extra people come for tea.
Solve problems - three extra people are coming to tea, but we only have two extra chairs; how many more do we need?
Plan - discuss journey planning including costs. How much petrol will you need? How can you get the best deal on bus/train tickets?
Play games with cards - players take two cards and add them together. The largest number wins. You can play this with subtraction, multiplication and division too.
Sing counting songs. Read books, play games, watch TV and films about maths.
Go on a shape hunt - how many circles, triangles, squares and rectangles can you see in everyday objects? You can look for patterns too.
Look for numbers ... on doors, cars, buses, signs, advertisements, sports scores... anywhere. Talk about what the numbers mean.