Helping with maths homework

Homework supports your child's learning at school, and is a great way for them to develop life skills, such as time management and self-discipline.

Unfortunately, homework is also often a source of arguments and unnecessary stress.

Because teaching methods today are often very different, parents and carers can worry that they will end up confusing their child rather than helping them.

Whatever your maths skills, you can still help your child with homework.

General tips

  • If you don't know something, that's OK. Try and work out the problem together.
  • Set aside some homework time Start a homework routine, find a quiet place for your child to work and take away any distractions if possible.
  • With younger children, you could set yourself adult "homework" time. Do 'homework' yourself e.g. shopping list, checking your phone bill. Show them that you are using the skills they're learning.
  • Rephrase questions using things that your child is interested in
  • If they're doing well, praise them for effort. Say "well done, you've worked so hard", rather than calling them "clever" or praising talent. This helps children learn that their abilities can develop as long as they work hard.
  • When they get stuck, ask them to explain what they've done so far and what they're finding hard. Try and help them work out where they've gone wrong.
  • If the homework is too hard speak to their teacher.
  • With older children, still show interest but let them be more independent and figure out problems for themselves.

Discovering new methods

  • Explain that with maths there is often more than one way to a solve problem. If you want to learn more about current teaching methods, you can find out more
  • Ask your child to explain their understanding - get them to teach you!

Questions to ask

  • How does this connect to other topics you're learning at school?
  • What could you use this for in real life?

Want more ideas for questions to ask your child about school? Find out more

Remember: Demonstrating positive attitudes to maths is just as important to supporting your child's learning as helping with homework.