Helping your children with Maths is crucial.

Maths for Mums 'n' Dads

Do you dread your child asking for help with their maths homework? Do you feel embarrassed when you can't help? Or has it got to that stage where your child has simply given up asking and they have gone elsewhere for help? It does not need to be like this.

After lots of careful research, we have found many parents are stuck in this rut and need a way out. Congratulations for doing something about it and coming to find us. We know we can help.

One of the things that are true at any stage in a child’s education is that, as a parent, your love, care and support has the biggest positive influence on your child’s achievement. You can help them even if you believe you're ‘rubbish’ at maths. Remember, none of us are pre-genetically disposed to be 'bad at maths'. For too long it's been socially acceptable to say 'I've never been any good at maths'. Children are all too often saying similar things in school to their teachers and peers, 'my mum and dad are rubbish at maths, so it doesn't matter if I am'. This cannot continue!

Everyday maths

Making maths part of everyday life is one of the best ways for children to feel confident in using and working with numbers and shapes. For example, you could help them look out for sequences in patterns on carpets, curtains, fabrics and wallpapers. Being able to predict when the next pattern or sequence occurs helps mathematical thinking.

For older children, shopping gives many opportunities for practising numeracy skills. Look out for offers: Buy two get the third free, sale items with prices marked down provide an ideal opportunity to practice those all important percentages.

Start from where they are

Be sensitive when a child gets something wrong. Don’t just say, 'You’ve got that wrong, this is how you do it.' Instead, start from where they’re at and ask them, 'Tell me, how did you get that answer?' As they discuss things with you, areas of misunderstanding and so on will become clear. Then show them where they went wrong, and help them to correct the mistake. Often, they have misunderstood or half-learnt a procedure, or they do not understand certain mathematical words or symbols. It could be that they have just misread the question!

Lots of ways to learn

There is no single, exclusively correct learning style in maths. We learn things in a variety of ways, so help children to learn by using two or more of their senses, e.g. hearing as well as seeing. Children can make use of a multi-sensory approach to learning mathematics.

Some of the methods used to teach the basics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division may come as a surprise. Our courses will help you to recognise what is going on, and the methods employed by your children's teachers, so you can work alongside your child, and not confuse them. Of course we don't just stop at arithmetic, we cover the A-Z of mathematics and will help you become much more confident in all areas of mathematics. As a parent and role model to your children, it is important that they can come to you with confidence that you will be able to help them. It is just as vital that you feel confident to be able to provide assistance when it is required.

Praise and encouragement – building self-esteem

It is tremendously important to praise what is right, and not focus only on mistakes. If there has been a lot of failure at maths, a child’s self-esteem can be brought down and this does not help them to learn. So, encourage them to ask questions if they don’t understand, and reassure them that no question is too simple to ask. They may need another type of explanation, so be ready to give that. Remind them that other people probably have the same problem, but don’t have the courage to ask. If they get stuck, backtrack to the point where they did understand, and start from there. Build self-esteem by encouraging them that these are quite common experiences. The key is to celebrate what is right!

Great expectations – but not too great!

Good maths is built on solid foundations, and these take time to settle. It is very important to develop mental arithmetic skills, even though calculators do exist. Be patient. Be aware that there is a huge gap between the very important early stages of informal, mental arithmetic and the formal, written methods that adults expect to see. Don’t try to jump too quickly!

Pop in to see us for a coffee

You're welcome to drop in to see us for a coffee and discuss our courses and your requirements. We provide a very relaxed and informal learning environment for parents. We really don't want you to feel like you're in the classroom again. Being comfortable and happy with your instructors is key to becoming successful at maths and developing the confidence you need to assist your child with all aspects of their work.

We look forward to meeting you.

For more information our brand new Mathematics courses, click here.