It’s my birthday this weekend- it’s funny isn’t it how the older you get, the more the years seem to speed up and the presents get smaller and less exciting than those from your youth. I remember birthdays in the past- desperate for a ‘My Little Pony’ and being so happy to unwrap the purple pony Blossom, I recall the excitement of being ’double digits’ and in later years the joy of being a teenager. I had to wait to be 13 before I was allowed to get my ears pierced and my memory of the Saturday I could finally go to the jewelers and get small golden earrings, is one which will stay with me forever. I couldn’t wait to grow up but now I am an adult, the simple joyous excitement of birthday surprises is one I would like to feel again.
They say age is just a number but are numbers really just numbers? In school we learn lots about numbers. They can be represented in so many different ways and we use them to make sense of the world around us- to help with understanding amounts of things from grains of sand to jumbo jets, to help us measure wealth, age and the number of calories in our chocolate bar. Without an understanding of number, life would be very hard indeed. Many of the parents I speak to tell me that they struggle with Maths, they often feel that this is an area that they can’t help their children with. Even if you can’t remember how to do long division or algebraic equations, I am sure there is much you can do to help your child with Mathematics. The key thing is to give them confidence. To provide space for learning from mistakes, to champion a questioning mind and the diligence to persevere.
In the Early Years, play and sing counting games and discuss numbers in the world around you. Encourage slightly older children to recognize numbers and measures in household tasks. Teach your child how to tell the time and how to use a calendar to calculate in days, weeks and months. Help your child to learn number bonds and multiplication tables by rote and to perform simple calculations when shopping or in the kitchen. There is so much you can do to make Maths relevant and fun.
If you want to know more about how you can help your child with Maths speak to your class teacher or look on our website. I will enjoy my birthday cake this weekend and see you on Monday, a whole year older!