Tips to teach your child reading, writing and maths

Maths Tips

Make maths easy for your child: Many teachers are moving through the curriculum so fast that your child might find it difficult to remember what has been taught. A little coaching from you will mean classroom maths is fun and interesting rather than boring and too difficult. Steps to coach your child maths are quite simple really.

First, make sure they have the basic information and skills they need to do well in the classroom.

Find out from the teacher what they need to know for their level. A good resource is also the website www.nzmaths.co.nz and look for the page numeracy project. There is a section called home-school partnerships that offer lots of useful games you might like to play with your child.

Secondly practise and practise the knowledge and skills until they are second nature to your child. It is useful for you to know that while it is still vital that your child knows their number families and tables to do well at school, rote learning basic facts is no longer as emphasised as it was in the past.

I suggest you use games and flashcards to help your child rote-learn the number families. Flashcards are strips of card or paper you and your child can make together with the number fact on one side and the answer on the other. We all remember facts more easily if we have to search our memory for the answer, so please write the answer on the back. Many children I meet are still counting up, but so fast that when they are older teachers often don’t realise they are still counting up and back to get the answer to their addition or subtraction problem rather than using number families.

Number families are the basic addition and subtraction facts up to 10.

E.g. the number family for 7 is:

7-1=6, 7-6=1, 7-2=5, etc. 6+1=7, 1+6=7, 2+5=7, 5+2=7 etc.

Many children do not know their tables and rely on their calculators, or just don’t ‘get’ how to solve multiplication and division problems. Make sure they understand what a table is:

Times or x = ‘lots of’ or ‘groups of’.

You can use stones or buttons to demonstrate as I have below with the two times table

1×2=2 or 1 lot of 2 = 2

2×2=4 or 2 lots of 2= 4

3×2=6 or 3 lots of 2= 6

Help your child remember which table they are learning by using flashcards and competitive games regularly.

Go for fluency! Coach them on their basic facts until your child uses them automatically when solving maths problems.

Keep it fun. Working at their level and keeping it light by having fun lowers their anxiety levels and enables them to concentrate better and learn faster.

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