5 Top tips to engage your children with KS1 Maths
Parents have a great opportunity to develop their children’s basic Maths and problem skills at home by involving them in everyday activities and helping them understand Maths in real life. Don’t underestimate yourself, or the power you have as a parent getting involved in your child’s learning. Ofsted have specifically stated that parental engagement raises pupil achievement. So here are some tips and ideas to show how you can improve your child’s KS1 Maths skills at home.
- Start With A Positive Mindset
Do you ever hear yourself saying “I’m really bad at maths” or “I just didn’t get maths in school”? It’s difficult to understand just how much children will pick up on any negativity towards particular subjects from their parents. Unfortunately, this can be a real barrier to their learning. We advise parents to try and use positive language around your children such as “don’t worry, it’s ok to make mistakes, we all do” and also be as patient as possible with them when they’re doing their homework. You may not mean to be negative, but your children may take it to heart. Positivity can go a long way to improving their attitude towards maths!
- Use Maths Talk Every Day
Talking about maths is really important for your child’s mathematical development. As your child is at KS1 level, you want to start off with the basics - don’t overwhelm them. Whenever you have the opportunity, try to include maths talk in their lives; this is easily done when they are playing with physical objects as you can reinforce their counting skills. How many pennies are you holding? What shape is that object? Etc. Two easy concepts to develop with your children are doubling/halving and adding/subtracting. Again, you could use physical objects such as food to reinforce this. It’s as simple as asking your child to count the number of chicken nuggets or peas (or any other food!) on their plate at dinner time. and then you can ask them things like:
• “If I doubled the number of chicken nuggets on your plate right now, how many would you have?”
• “If I ate half the peas on your plate for you, how many would you have left?”
• “If we added all of my chicken nuggets to your chicken nuggets, how many would we have altogether?”
- Develop Their Memory Skills
Try encouraging your children to memorise your phone number and their grandparents’/best friend’s phone number, then test them on the numbers occasionally. This can easily be turned into a game or reward system. This not only helps develop their memory skills but also helps keep them safer when they’re away from you. Once they’ve mastered phone numbers, encourage them to memorise more things such as nursery rhymes, a quote from a book or TV show they like, or prayers to extend their memory skills.
- Play Maths Games Together
Games are a great way to bond with your children but also many games use mathematical and logical skills that your children will need in later life. Even a simple game such as a jigsaw puzzle helps children to develop logical and spatial awareness skills. For example, snakes and ladders enables children to count the rolls of the dice, which helps develop their counting skills.
- Watch Out For Shapes
When you look around, everything is made out of shapes so why not encourage your children to learn the names of shapes when you’re out and about to entertain them? They could identify car wheels as circles, windows as rectangles and even tiles as hexagons or whatever shape they may be!