Homeschooling Maths and Thinking Mathily

You may think homeschooling maths is out of your comfort zone but you use numbers all day long. Once you start to think about this you’ll find lots of ways to help your child.

I used to work with a child with cerebral palsy supporting her in a year 2 class then a year 3 class. I also taught maths to adults and taught teaching assistants in primary schools. What this showed me is that lots of children and adults know maths facts but don’t understand how numbers work and why the tools of maths work.

What is maths if not numbers?

One great source of data (numbers) is your till receipt. here I explain how this can start a process of thinking about the size of numbers in relation to each other, ordering numbers and then also hopefully starting to understand how much food costs and why this matters.

Thinking mathily

When you start to think mathily you will see numbers everywhere. When you make breakfast who eats what? Who has how much of something? Could your children weigh their cereal or cut their toast into different shapes and think of these as fractions? If you share a package of 6 sausages between 4 people how do you each end up with the same amount of sausage? How many slices of brad are in each sliced loaf? How many sandwiches will that make?

The ‘Why’ of Maths matters

Understanding how to make numbers bigger or smaller is important. The relationship between adding being more and subtracting being less, then multiplying making a number much bigger than just adding and diving being a way to share a number into smaller pieces are the basic tools of maths and can all be discovered at home.

Simply the way we cook food or bake cakes then share those in the family explains adding, multiplication division and subtraction very clearly. We just need to talk about what’s happening more and you do that my thinking mathily.

If your child has been struggling at school there’s a chance for you now at home to help them really ‘get’ how and why numbers work.

You can do this!

We teach our children how to talk and we can teach them how to understand numbers by using words. Homeschooling maths can start with these small things and as you start to get it, you’ll be able to talk about budgeting, saving, interest rates and borrowing and more.

Finally, a great resource

If you play with Khan Academy you will start to love maths too! I could listen to him talk about numbers all day long!


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