Whether your primary school child is bringing home maths homework that you are familiar with or not, you can still support them to learn. Here is how:
Understanding the question
Encourage your child to take the time to think about what is being asked of them. Ask them to explain to you what the problem means and how they would solve it, for example, “How would you work that out? Do you need to use addition, multiplication or division?” Talking the math problem through will assist them with their learning and comprehension.
Simple multiplication is an important part of maths, and practice is the key! Encourage your child to practise the times tables. Try turning multiplication practice into a fun game by asking your child the occasional multiplication question as they wait for dinner, in the car or walking the dog. For example, “What’s six times seven?”
Pause with the answers
When your child is struggling to answer a math equation, hold off giving them the answer. Instead, encourage them to solve it themselves by giving them tips such as, “We know six times five is 30, so seven times five would be 30 plus five”.
Keep expectations high with positive praise
Giving your child praise is important in building their maths confidence. Encourage your child by giving genuine and specific praise about their efforts and achievements. For example, “Well done! Seven times five is 35. I like the way you kept trying until you got it right, great job!”
Importance of maths skills
If your child understands the importance of maths in their everyday life, they will be more likely to embrace it. So keep the maths conversation going by talking about maths as you go about your everyday activities, such as measurements while cooking, speed and distance when driving, and patterns in the things in the environment around you.
If you are concerned about your child’s maths homework, contact their teacher. They can work with your child in class and may be able to suggest some activities you could try at home to support their learning.