Numeracy at Home

The parents’ role in their children’s mathematical development is crucial. This role starts well before the child will commence school and continues throughout their education.

Parents can actively assist the development of their child’s mathematics by playing games that have a mathematical content and using everyday situations to highlight the mathematics involved.

The role of parents includes

  • talking to children about their mathematics
  • building children’s confidence and developing their interests in mathematics
  • praising children when they notice some new development in their mathematics understanding and skills
  • sharing mathematics with their children, discussing strategies they use and talking with them about mathematics
  • looking at children’s attempts to record mathematics, responding to their ideas and then praising the progress towards standard mathematical representations
  • showing their children through their words, action, and attitudes that they believe the children will become competent and competent users of mathematics

Helping with Numeracy at home:

1. Encourage your child to become involved in everyday problems and activities; for example facts and figures for planning a meal or planning a shopping trip.

2. Be a sounding board for the children’s ideas and problems. Listen, question and be willing to accept the children’s own ideas.

3. Play games with your children and let them help you score. Some good games to try are:

  • Card games
  • Connect 4
  • Board games
  • Monopoly
  • Dice games
  • Target games (such as Darts and Golf)

4.  Be a giver of Maths gifts with potential for assisting mathematics learning.

     Ideas include:

  • Construction kits
  • Calculators
  • A bank or investment account
  • Board games

An excellent resource for Maths games is the Happy Puzzle Company. Their web address is:

 5.  Prepare for outings together. Involve children in planning (time, timetables,

     distances), and costing (prices, travel expenses etc).

 6.  Help children interpret numbers they will encounter such as price tags, road signs,


 7.  Be alert to ‘maths-rich’ situations where you can involve your child:

  • Shopping (estimating the grocery bill)
  • DIY (measuring lengths, filling out order form)
  • Cooking (use of grams)

8. Encourage your child as they come to grips with new mathematical situations.

Children who are good at mathematics are prepared to ‘have a go’ so encourage your child to find ways of doing things and talk to them about what they did, and how and why. This will help them see their mistakes and put them on the way to get it right.