Maths is a skill that needs practice! There are lots of simple things you can do to help your child with their maths skills. Our new Learning Potential Resources website has some great ideas. The activities on Learning Potential Resources are linked to the Australian Curriculum and help you to reinforce the skills that your child is learning at school. Here is an example that focuses on Year 5-6 maths skills.
One of the secrets to being confident with maths is having a toolkit of different calculation strategies, and knowing when and how to use them. If your child is in Years 5-6, you can help build their maths toolkit by involving them in the maths problems you come across in daily life, using ideas such as these.
- Ask your child to calculate answers for you – e.g. ‘Could you work out how much edging we need to buy to go around the new garden bed? It’s going to be three metres long and 1.5 metres wide.’
- Ask your child to estimate answers and then check their estimates – e.g. ‘Petrol today costs $1.65 per litre and we needed 56 litres, so how much will that be, roughly?’
- Show how you choose different strategies by talking through maths problems as you work them out – e.g. ‘There are 10 kids coming to your party, plus us makes 14 people altogether, and this recipe makes 6 muffins. Double that is 12, which is not enough, so we’ll multiply all the quantities by 3 and end up with 3 x 6 equals 18 muffins – one left over for each of us!’
- Play the Four Card Century Challenge: draw four random cards (ignoring any picture cards), then arrange them in any order and use mathematical operations to create a calculation which equals as close to 100 as possible. For example, if you draw 2, 3, 8 and 8, you could make ’83 + 28′ [equals 111], or ‘288 ÷ 3’ [equals 96], or ‘(8 x 8) + 32’ [equals 96]. Increase the challenge by drawing more cards and/or raising the target number.
Go to Learning Potential Resources for an online game which will help your child practise these skills. Play the game together, or get your child started and then help if they have questions.
Related ideas for other year levels:
For more great ways to help your child with literacy and numeracy skills, visit Learning Potential Resources.