Maths homework is not how we used to do it. Can you hear yourself saying this? Possibly the greatest excuse we parents use to avoid helping their children ’stuck’ on a homework maths question. But there are other ways we can now help and also enjoy re-learning what our children are learning in school.
The maths teaching resources used in school may have changed since we were there but the outcome that two plus two equals four is still the same. Whilst some teachers prefer parents not to interfere the current overall performance of children in primary school highlights a general under performance in numeracy and literacy. Teachers and children can benefit from our help and a key schooling objective is to consider how best to mobilise parents; a willing volunteer is after all worth ten pressed men!
The adage “practice makes perfect” is the key. Research by the National Training Laboratory in the USA show 75 per cent of learning retention comes with practice; only 50 per cent comes with listening in class. The mobilisation of parents to give more effective help with math homework is a huge boost to both the child and the school. The techniques used in the school classroom may have changed but the answer is still the same! Now there is another way to get parents involved that would not conflict, confuse or manipulate homework!
The art of teaching maths lies predominately in the making it enjoyable for children. Maths after all is a giant set of rules on how to play the game, once the rules are learnt maths becomes more interesting and leads to a desire to move to the next platform of the game. A huge number of educational maths games have been developed as teaching resources used in schools. They provide a fun experience for children in the classroom. Equally, and of huge importance, they can also be played at home.
The maths games come in the form of bingo, dominoes, board games, puzzles and educational software. Rules of play are supplied so the techniques used are common with the classroom. Hidden in the games are the key elements towards understanding mathematics. Whilst parents may be a little rusty the outcome of the game is to induce fun in the learning process. Parents helping in this process not only enjoy the time with their children but are instrumental in supporting the practice function -which after all is what homework is all about.
You can see examples of maths games here: