The next time you go to the supermarket with your child try this very simple game. It will help secure numeracy as well as develop an understanding for the price of food!
At the supermarket look at the price of every item you put in your basket or trolley and ask your child to add up all the items in their head. It’s fine for the addition to be a estimate, then compare their estimation with the actual final price when you check out.
For example if you’re buying 3 items for £1.99 each and two items for £3.45 each the estimate for those items can be 3×2 + 2×3.5 = 6 + 7 = £13.
Apart from estimating it’s also a very useful game and exercise in retention. It is surprisingly difficult to remember a rolling total over a twenty five minute shopping trip!
It doesn’t matter which sport you pick, but pick one and use it to help secure numeracy with your child.
Baseball and cricket are both excellent sports to help teach a whole range of baths including pitches, runs, hits, errors, overs, run-rate, probability etc.
Golf is great because the winner is the person with the lowest score which is usually a negative number.
Although football scores are low, there are huge amounts of stats online which are great to share with your child to understand which team is likely to win the next match and what it means to their position in the table if they win, draw or lose.
Athletics is mostly about time which is also a really great way to help a child understand times, decimal places, averages and personal bests.
It cannot be over-stated as to how important understanding maths is in the real world.
Stock markets, currency exchange rates and of course the sports pages. These are all excellent sources of real-world maths which you can use to help educate your child how to use even simple arithmetic.
If you’re planning a holiday and your child is taking some pocket money to spend, there’s a good chance it is worth a bit more or a bit less IN REAL TERMS than it did a month ago.
Why do petrol prices go up and down and how does that relate to oil prices?
How much of the prices we pay for things are made up of tax v.s the underlying price of the product.
What is profit and what does it mean?
Encourage your child to read the financial and business pages of a newspaper and ask you questions.
Here’s a sample page from the Key Stage Maths Year 6 workbook for Number and Place Value. Page 10 focuses on negative numbers.
A lot of children struggle with negative numbers even after it has been explained on the number-line.
One of the best ways to secure negative numbers is using practical examples such as temperature which is what we have done in this workbook.
The next step after understanding the concept of negative numbers is to use them in calculations starting with greater than and less than, and then in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Here’s an example from the Year 6 Key Stage Maths workbook “Number and Place Value”.
This is the very first page which sets the scene by making sure children can understand large numbers in digits and words.
The kind of numbers which often trip up children who are still in the process of securing number and place value are numbers like “Nine thousand and six”. Sometimes children struggle to make sure they write this as 9006 and not misplacing the six.
The main advantage of buying downloadable workbooks is that you can print and use them over and over.
For example, during the Easter, Christmas or Summer holiday it is useful for a child to work their way through a number of workbooks – e.g. to secure maths before starting the next term.
If during the school break you have identified an area which requires more work, all you need to do is re-print the workbook and the child can do it again. The HUGE disadvantage with physical workbooks is that they’re only good for one use.
This becomes even more significant if you have more than one child and find yourself re-buying the same workbook more than once.
Other advantages include being able to print workbooks online wherever you are, and using them electronically – e.g. on a phone or iPad so the child can work out the answers in a notebook.