If you have a child who is struggling with Maths, it can be heart-breaking! Sometimes there are tears and it can even effect their willingness to go to school. You see them lose confidence and therefore avoid doing Maths – it’s a downward spiral. How can you help your 8 year-old with Maths?
The good news is – YOU CAN CHANGE IT!
As an experienced teacher, I have seen loads of kids move from a position of zero-confidence to excelling in Maths. They just need some consistent, gentle help – as I’ll explain shortly. You CAN help your child with Maths.
Firstly, DON’T WORRY.
Children (and adults) don’t learn at a constant steady pace. We have all had the experience of trying and trying to learn a new skill and getting no-where. Then one day, we just wake up and ‘click!’ – we can do it! Children are the same. They may struggle, they may go backwards, but eventually, with practice, something will click. Once that happens, there will be no stopping them!
Secondly – DO EXTRA PRACTICE.
In order to improve and gain confidence, children need to practise. Doing a little Maths at home with your child will genuinely make a big difference. Do small, non-threatening amounts of practice as part of a regular routine. This will help your child to find it manageable. And before long, you will see them blossom.
DRIP FEED, DON’T CRAM.
If you’re anything like me, when there’s a problem that affects your children, you want to fix it NOW! But – WATCH OUT! – if you suddenly drop a massive amount of Maths onto your under-confident child – they are unlikely to cope with it and will lose confidence and motivation. You need to go slow and steady. Consistent small amounts of practise over a long period of time is key.
PRACTISE STUFF THEY ALREADY KNOW.
If your child lacks confidence then they will probably do everything they can to avoid Maths, so start with practising the things they know they can do in order to kick-start their confidence before you gently lead them to tackle things they don’t know.
SNEAK SOME MATHS IN.
If your child struggles with Maths, try to use stealth to get past their mental block! There are some great ideas for stealthy Maths activities and games on the Maths Club by Post Facebook page.
PRACTISE THE 4 OPS.
The 4 operations in Maths WILL ALWAYS be the most important tool your child will need for accessing the rest of the curriculum. Children need to start with ability to mentally add, moving on to subtracting, then multiplying which leads to dividing. Practise and practise these skills over and over again and the rest will fall into place a lot more easily. They will begin to be able to pick up the new topics at school much more quickly if they can handle the basic building blocks. For an eight year old, they are at an age when instant recall of times tables is starting to become important, so for some fantastic fun ways of learning times tables (many of which you can also use for adding, subtracting and dividing) have a look at my other blog – ‘How Can I Teach My Child Times Tables? – 15 Fun Ideas’
If you have a child in KS1 or KS2 and you are really worried about their Maths skills, see if a FREE pack from Maths Club by Post will hit the spot. It offers regular small chunks of non-threatening Maths puzzles, made by a Maths teacher. Grab this chance to help them fall in love with Maths learning.