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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Video: developing your child's maths skills

Find out why your child's maths skills are so important and what you can do at home to help develop them.

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Text version

Child: "...two... three... "

Susan Brummitt, Gillshill Primary School: "Maths is a really important subject which your child will study every day while they're at school - each day they will have either a numeracy or a maths session. So it's really important that you help them and reinforce the skills that they work on daily at school."

Parent 1: "Everything you see, count! Say for example you're reading a book: instead of just reading through it, if there are objects, count the objects; encourage them to count and count with them."

Parent 2: "When I wash socks, she puts them in pairs and counts them."

Parent 3: "We count the birds; we count how many shops there are; stuff like that."

Susan Brummitt: "Many parents' experiences of maths at school are unhappy experiences, but maths has changed. Parents can be reluctant to help their children, because they felt that they failed in that subject when they were at school. But children enjoy their maths activities much more and parents need to develop their understanding so that they can help their children."

Use activities in the home

Boy: "It helps to work with your child's school. What can parents do to help?"

Susan Brummitt: "When you're shopping, you can use the coins. The children are looking at the values of the coins and looking at how much things cost.

"In the kitchen, when children are cooking, they can be weighing out; they can be weighing liquids and looking at measures; they can be counting on and counting back when they're setting the table in the kitchen - all of these are really important skills that young children need to develop."

Boy: "My dad has loads of pieces of big planks: some of them are in half and some are full size. I count them so that if it's a full one, I count that as a one, and if it's cut in half, I count it as a half, so one and a half, and if I get two halves that makes a whole one."

Girl: "My mum, when she's cooking, she'll use different bottles of water so she'll fill some up higher, some low; some medium and some high."

Susan Brummitt: "Playing games with children is paramount. Not only is it an enjoyable family activity, but actually if they're looking at numbers, and they're looking at number bonds - numbers added together - and if they're sorting things - these are all fun and enjoyable things that you can do as a family together."

Useful tips:

  • make maths fun
  • use everyday activities
  • play number games

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