If we take a look at the world through a mathematical lens, we quickly realise that mathematics is all around us; from working out what time we need to leave the house in the morning, to cooking dinner at night.  Many of us solve dozens of problems and apply mathematical thinking throughout the day without giving it a second thought.

Over the years, many parents have asked, “What can I do at home to help improve my child’s Numeracy skills?”.  I almost always respond by encouraging parents to include their children in the ‘day-to-day mathematics’ – maths on a plate. I challenge you to be mindful of the maths involved in your day-to-day activities and include your children in these discussions. 

Research suggests that a range of exposures provide students with multiple opportunities to encounter, engage with, and elaborate on new knowledge and skills. Deep learning develops over time via multiple interactions with new knowledge and concepts. Learning is particularly enhanced when students are given the opportunity to engage with concepts using different activities that vary the interactions they have with new knowledge.

Here are some suggested discussion points that you could use to help your child engage with new knowledge and skills at home.

Prep – Year 2

  • Look out for numbers on signs on your way to school, for example, speed limits.
  • Discuss weekly commitments, for example, swimming lessons on Saturday morning.
  • Use a calendar to find specific months, seasons and dates.
  • Look for and discuss patterns.
  • Count a small collection of coins.
  • Read o’clock, half past and quarter to/past times on a clock.
  • Recognise halves and quarters, for example cutting toast or a piece of fruit.

Year 3 – Year 6

  • Estimate cost of buying a small number of items at the supermarket.
  • Count change from a financial transaction.
  • Discuss the concept of odd and even.
  • Use scales to weigh objects, for example, weighing ingredients in a recipe.
  • Tell the time to the minute.
  • Estimate then work out how long it takes to drive to school in the morning.
  • Change digital clocks to 24-hour time.
  • Read timetables, such as public transport timetable or a sporting fixture timetable.

For more information on how to best support your child at home, please click here to visit the Department of Education website for more information and resources.

Matthew Brady - Head of Learning - Numeracy