Read to your kids and do some maths with them, too
We know how important it is to read to our kids but did you know that it’s equally
important to be helping your children develop their maths skills at home?
Professor Sivanes Phillipson is the lead researcher in the Australian Research Council
Linkage Project Numeracy@Home, and co-author of Engaging Families as Children’s First
Mathematics Educators, which brings together project themes and findings.
The findings were clear that a lot of learning occurs at home, especially with maths,
Professor Phillipson said.
However, it’s evident parents don’t always feel as comfortable or confident in doing home-
based activities with maths as they do with literacy skills such as reading and spelling - but
they don’t need to be maths geniuses themselves to help their kids.
The type and quality of involvement and engagement of parents is very important in helping
their children with basic concepts such as time, shapes, distance, measuring, and counting.
Asking children to help count and weigh cooking ingredients, identify shapes and numbers
during walks and on signs, and using words to explain where things are positioned: these are
the sorts of simple tasks that parents can try at home that both apply maths concepts and
show children that maths skills are critical to everyday life.
Don’t know where to start? Speak to your child’s teacher, who will be happy to give you some
suggestions of at-home activities you can do, and tell you what’s happening in the classroom, so
you can mirror those concepts at home.
For more information, see Sivanes Phillipson, Peter Sullivan and Ann Gervasoni (eds), Engaging
Families as Children’s First Mathematics Educators (Springer Science+Business Media Singapore,
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