Talking about maths

As a parent or carer, you give your child their first experiences with maths.

Even if you don’t feel confident with maths, you can still make a huge difference to how your child’s numeracy confidence and ability develops.

Top tips

  • Be positive about maths. Don't say things like "I can’t do maths" or "I hated maths at school"; your child might start to think like that themselves.
  • Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving maths such as using money, cooking and travelling.
  • Praise your child for effort rather than talent - this shows them that by working hard they can always improve

"I Can't Do Maths": If You're Saying It, Your Kids Probably Are Too

by National Numeracy Trustee Wendy Jones
Originally published on Mumsnet in March 2014

I remember one particular parents' evening at my children's infant school. It was dedicated to maths, the displays of equipment were superb and the head teacher was desperate to persuade us that maths was something real. She asked: "Now who's used maths today?"

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"Nobody told me that before!"

By Dr Rosemary Russell, an expert in Parental Engagement with Mathematics.

‘Nobody told me that before!’ exclaimed the young mum, excited and happy, during one of the sessions of the Maths for Parents course I was running.

What had she just learnt to cause that response? She had just learnt that by singing nursery rhymes and playing counting games whilst bathing her little 5-month daughter - in other words, doing the things she was already doing with her daughter – she was actually helping her daughter with maths.

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