Give your kids the maths bug!

September 30, 2016

Love maths - students giving thumbs up

Our National Young Mathematicians’ Awards return this year – the biggest maths competition for primary school teams in the UK, hoping to give kids the maths bug! But what’s the status of maths in the UK? 

Our recent research has found good news – the nation’s ‘maths phobia’ is in decline with only 18% of parents surveyed saying they found maths intimidating. Almost a quarter went as far as to declare their love for the subject (24%)! A third of parents (30%) believe maths is very important for children later in life and their career. But how do parents inspire a love of maths from a young age?

Here are some top tips:

  • Play games – I have always found children respond particularly well to games such as Monopoly. They are learning how to calculate their earnings as well as using logical thinking. They are also a good way to spend some quality time together. Yahtzee is great for developing calculations and strategy without children realising it. Playing cards is also beneficial – I remember learning a lot of maths through cribbage. There are also dedicated maths card games such as HOO HA! or Ulti, great card games that help you master your tables.
  • Mix shopping with learning – When you’re on your weekly shop, get the children involved by asking them to recite the prices and add up what’s in the trolley. Playing the ‘guess how much the shopping comes to’ game is a great way of developing estimation skills great fun, just hope that the lowest guess wins!
  • Bake and learn – All cooking requires some element of maths. Baking cakes and cookies can easily become an educational game. Test their maths skills by asking them to add up or adapt a recipe for different amounts of serving.  The great thing about this is that they get to eat the results at the end!
  • Games and Apps – We’re lucky to live in a generation where our children are spoilt for choice with the amount of games and apps on offer to keep them entertained. There are so many apps out there!

We often find that children see maths as all about getting to the answer as quickly as possible and if it’s not immediately apparent, switching off. We need to encourage our children to enjoy the journey of discovery. Making mistakes is an essential part of learning; especially in maths. Encourage your children to give it a go and if it doesn’t work – try, try again.

We believe that there’s no such thing as a ‘maths brain’. Although everyone has different capabilities, every child can go beyond what they thought was possible! Learning maths is often about your mindset, so we work with your child to build confidence in their ability and awaken a passion for learning. Find out more about our maths tuition.

And if your child is a budding mathematician, find out how their school can enter a team into our National Young Mathematicians’ Awards – a great opportunity to inspire them to aim high!

National Young Mathemeaticians' Awards banner

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