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St Lawrence

Catholic Primary School

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Help Your Child at Home

How parents can help with Maths skills at home. Tips and ideas to help improve your child’s achievements at school.



Positive Mind set - Your negativity towards the subject has an impact on your child. Instead of saying “I am really bad at Maths” or “I don’t get Maths, I cannot help you”, try using positive language.   Positivity can go a long way to improve your child’s attitude towards Maths. 

Use Maths talk everyday - Ask them Maths questions when they are playing:  How many pennies are you holding? What shape is that object that you are playing with? When counting, reinforce the last number they counted – “one, two, three…- three cars.”

To develop doubling / halving or adding / subtracting concepts, you could use physical objects such as food during dinner time: “If I doubled the number of chicken nuggets on your plate, how many would you have?” If I ate half the peas on your plate, how many would you have left?” If we add your chicken nuggets to mine, how many will we have altogether? “

Develop their memory skills - Try encouraging your child to memorise your telephone number or their grandparents telephone number then test them occasionally. That will not only improve their memory skills, but also help them to stay safe. Once they mastered phone numbers, they can memorise things like nursery rhymes, quotes from their favourite shows or prayers. 

Play Maths games together - Many games use mathematical and logical skills that your child will need later in life: jigsaw puzzles help to develop logical and spatial awareness; snakes and ladders enable children to count the rolls on the dice, which helps develop their counting skills. 

Watch out for shapes - Everything is made out of shapes. Encourage your child to learn the names of shapes when you are out and about. How many things can they find that are rectangles or circles? 



Positive Mindset - Your child can pick up on negativity towards subjects and, unfortunately, this can be a real barrier to their learning. We advise parents to try using positive language around your children when talking about Maths. It may well improve their Maths attitude!

Play Maths games together - Many games use mathematical and logical skills that your children will need in later life - plus they’re fun! Games like jigsaw puzzles help children to develop logical & spatial awareness skills. Board games with dice develop children’s counting skills. Other games that may help develop your child’s Maths skills are darts, scrabble, and chess. 

Learn their Maths methods - All the methods we use in or school can be found in our Calculation policy attached.  This ensures continuity between school and home learning for your child and genuinely improves their learning!

Practice reading the time -  Make sure your child practises reading analogue clocks in everyday life, as this is part of the Maths curriculum. Instead of telling them how much time they have left, ask them to read the clock and figure it out themselves. 

Use fractions in everyday life -  If you are not confident with fractions yourself, stick to the ones you know such as ½ or ¼. See a window split into four coloured panels? Ask your child “what fraction of the window is coloured in blue?” When eating pizza discuss what fraction of the pizza your child will eat. 

Practise times tables daily -  It’s essential for children to learn their times tables in order to access harder Maths questions. This is an easy thing to practise with their children - sneak it in when they’re bored! Make car journeys go by faster, or distract them on the bus by asking times tables questions. Encourage them to spend 10 minutes daily to practice their times tables on Times Tables Rock Stars. 

Problem solving -  These skills are important. To help your child improve them, ask them to tell you which is the best deal at the supermarket or how much their pair of trousers are worth when there is a 30% sale on in a clothes store, or which internet provider has the best deal when you need to switch.

Ask open questions - Next time your child needs help with their homework, try asking prompting questions such as: “Why did you write that down?” “How did you get that answer?” “What method did you use?” This will help your child fully understand the maths methods they’re using and reinforce independent learning.

Play to their love for technology -  Giving children short bursts of online practice can be really helpful. As little as 10 minutes a day on Mathletics will improve their Maths skills. If they prefer a variety - there are many useful apps and websites that can support your child’s learning as well. We have added links for you to easily access them.