There are many things we can do to support our children’s learning in mathematics by using the everyday experiences and resources that we find around the home.
One way to support maths learning is to notice the maths all around us.
Raising our children’s, and our own, awareness of maths helps them understand that it’s part of how the world is put together and how we can understand it.
This can be as easy as noticing the odd and even numbers on letterboxes or looking for different shapes when we’re shopping like cubes, cylinders or spheres.
We all use numbers and measurement in our everyday lives, and it’s important to share this with our children.
When we share the maths that we use, it helps our children to understand that maths learning is an important part of living and working and that it has value.
You can ask your children to read the time, or measure ingredients when you’re cooking, or talk about how much petrol costs and how many litres it takes to fill up the car when you’re at the petrol station.
Or ask for their help when you’re looking through the weekly grocery fliers – get them to tell you what the best deals are.
Having a strong partnership between home and school helps children’s achievement.
It’s important to talk to your children’s teachers and support their school work by practice and homework.
You can do this by playing maths games and solving problems together or by simply asking: “How did you work that out?”
Another way we can support our children’s learning in mathematics is by building their confidence through giving them honest praise and encouragement.
A simple high five or a smile when they have figured something out or when they just keep on trying - it tells them that we think they are clever.
And most importantly it tells them that we think they are doing is worthwhile.
A maths kete is a handy resource to have in the home when your child wants to have some fun with maths or they need a little help with their homework.
It can be made up of items readily found in the home or things you can pick up at the $2 shop. You can use items like:
• Scrap paper
• Pens and pencils and highlighters
• A calculator
• A measuring tape
• A ruler
• Maps (you can get these from tourist info centres or just use the ones that show bus routes)
• Newspapers and magazines
• Playing cards
• Play money
• A clock
There are lots of things parents and whanau can do to support their children’s maths learning:
• Help them see the maths that’s around them
• Let them see you doing maths
• Take an interest in the maths they do at school
• Most importantly - Be positive
With your help your children WILL succeed in maths.