The UK currently ranks seventeenth in the world league tables when it comes to maths competence assessed at the age of 15, with China, Singapore and Macau in the top three places. But what can we do to improve this?
With National Maths Week in full swing, it’s the perfect time to consider your approach to maths home learning and how you can support children to see maths as magical and fun rather than feared and loathed so that children can excel at the subject we either loved or disliked at school.
Martin Hassler Hallstedt, PHD, learning psychologist and Founder of Count on me! shares his top tips to support children for maths home learning:
Make maths fun
As maths needs to be learned, the exercises need to be captivating and engaging. You can help make maths fun by talking maths with children every day and introducing a game element or playing a game or challenge with your children. For example, painting by numbers, playing bingo with addition, identifying shapes as you walk back from school, in the car or on a walk.
Study in short bursts
Practicing maths at home doesn’t need to require a lot of time. You can incorporate it into almost anything you do for example when cooking, let you child count or weigh the ingredients or collect numbers of leaves when on a walk. As primary school children have short attention spans, keep it short - 15 minutes is the recommended time of a session.
Repeat tasks and practice every day for knowledge retention
Practice makes perfect! Children need to be able to do the task every time so it becomes second nature. As they become fluent and competent, confidence grows too. Repetition is key so it is better to do maths together for only 5 minutes a week than not doing it at all.
Think beyond traditional techniques
Think beyond the traditional pure mathematics exercises such as subtraction and multiplication and incorporate a game such as Count on me! maths app which has a storyline, adventure and characters to make it captivating and promote learning outcomes. There are endless amounts of free and fun resources available online with videos, games and ideas on how you can practice maths anywhere you may be.
Reframe your language and attitude to maths
Our language and the words we use affect our children’s attitude. Talk to your children about how amazing, fun and mysterious you find maths. If we start talking about maths as something positive, children will embrace it in this way too.
Check out our competitions to be in with a chance to win an annual subscription for ‘Count on me!’ app.
Count on me! is a maths app from Akribian for children aged 6-9 years based and is available on the App Store for iPads (available on Android tablets later this year). For more information visit www.akribian.com.