Literacy and Numeracy for Teens – Every Week of the Year!

National Literacy and Numeracy Week Logo
High school 11-18 years

The annual ‘National Literacy and Numeracy Week’ only lasts seven days, but the website resources are available every day of the year! Start with these top tips for how you can support your teen’s literacy and numeracy skills.

Read by example

Have a wide range of reading materials at home – books, newspapers, magazines, comics, brochures etc. Encourage your teen to read widely, and let them see you reading too.

Talk about big issues

If you want your teen to be a confident speaker, have lots of meaningful conversations at home. According to a major OECD study[1], discussing social or political issues motivates students to draw on information, make connections and summarise and communicate ideas effectively. As a result, students who discuss complex issues with their parents have better reading performance, and show greater enjoyment of reading and awareness of effective summarising strategies than students who don’t. (Translation: they have better literacy skills!)

Bring maths into the real world

Show your teen how you use maths in everyday life – for example, analysing the cost and value of mobile phone plans, or monitoring electricity and water bills. It’s useful preparation for when they have to pay their own bills, and they might even decide to cut down on their usage now!

Be a guide, not an expert

Most high school students spend a fair bit of time working on assignments at home. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert on what each assignment is about. Rather, support your teen to organise their thoughts and think through how they should do it. First, look through the instructions together and check that your teen understands what the teacher expects. Then help them to work out a plan – how and when are they going to get the assignment done and what research they might need to do.

For more Literacy and Numeracy Tips for Parents, visit the National Literacy and Numeracy Week website.

[1] Borgonovi, F and G Montt (2012), ‘Parental Involvement in Selected PISA Countries and Economies’, OECD Education Working Papers, No 73, OECD Publishing,

Last modified on Monday 14 January 2019 [2661|13876]

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