Monthly Archives: October 2013

Helping Your Child Prepare For End of Year Exams

The final term of school can be a hard slog for students, teachers and parents alike. It’s also when students in secondary school are sitting final exams and assessments. It’s important that they feel encouraged and supported to perform their very best and confidently demonstrate all that they have learned during the year.
Here are our hints and tips on what you can do to help them prepare and keep focused.

1.Devise a plan
Find out when exam and assessment periods are to be held, either from your child or directly from the school, and make it an important date in your […]

Exploring Symmetry

Symmetry might be a small part of geometry but it is a vitally important concept which links maths to the real word. Symmetry can be easily seen in everyday life. It exists all around us, in nature, in art, in our homes and in the mirror. Children naturally seek the balance and order of symmetry in everything around them.

Exploring symmetry/reflections (and thus transformations) enables the mind to recognise the complexities of shapes from many different orientations, with reflections being one of the easier of the two. IQ and aptitude tests always have spatial questions because brains that can reflect […]

5 Important Ways To “Speak Maths” With Your Children

Sometimes we don’t realise it but maths is a language in itself. New mums are always keen to expand their baby’s vocabulary; to teach them lots of words and to help them learn to speak and understand English. Stacey Keyser, an experienced speech pathologist says, “Language development begins from birth and needs to be modeled everyday by parents and caregivers.”
Teaching your baby the words and language associated with mathematics is the easiest way to incorporate maths into your baby’s life from an early age. Here are my top 5 essential ways to “speak maths” with your children.
Keyser suggests that […]

Maths Hide and Seek

A great way to encourage your child to practise their calculations is with a game of Maths Hide and Seek.
All kids love to play the detective, solve a puzzle and crack a code, and this simple activity allows them to do all of these.
The game is simple – choose an object to hide somewhere around the house, write the location of the object in code and have your child crack the code and find the object by solving some maths calculations.
Which object you choose to hide is up to you, but we recommend that it is something motivating! The […]

Calculations With Percentages – A Few Short Cuts

This is the first video in the series Calculations With Percentages. This video is an introduction to calculating the percentage of a number. Here we demonstrate a few simple short cuts for calculating the percentage of a number.

Maths Play at the Park

The key message that we’d really like everyone to take on board is that you can involve a bit of mathematics in the normal course of your day and through the activities that you would normally do.
While you can also set aside time to do something a bit more special and creative with your child, it’s the integration of mathematics into your usual activities that gives your child the message that maths is normal, fun and a part of the everyday.
If you feel like spending a great afternoon at your local park with your kids, then there’s a perfect […]

A Fun Family Card Game

One of my most favourite games is an Italian card game that I learned to play as a kid. My cousin taught me to play and I immediately loved it for the strategy, the competition and the fun! And as the game involves simple addition and subtraction, it is a wonderful way to practise these skills in a fun family environment.
This card game, called Scopa meaning “sweep up”, can be played with regular cards or you can treat yourself to a packet of Italian Cards for a more authentic experience. If you use standard cards, you will need to […]

The Resourceful Child

What are some of the thoughts that spring to mind when you are asked “What do you want your child to gain and experience from their education?”
You might want your child to be happy at school, to make lasting friendships and to develop a long-lasting love of learning (and an appreciation for alliteration!!).
But when we drill down to the number one skill that we hope children will develop to prepare them for a successful future, I would say that it is resourcefulness.
What do we mean by resourceful? We mean that an individual will have both an attitude and an […]

Helping Your Child With Mental Maths Strategies – Part 4

This video is the next in our Homework Help Video Series – Mental Strategies. In this video we’ll take a look at how to teach your child to multiply two and three digit numbers by a single digit using a mental strategy rather than a written strategy.

We suggest the following approach to successfully help your child with this strategy:

1. Begin by doing a few sums using pen and paper as shown in the video.

2. Next, do a few more sums, this time writing the sums on paper, but working them out verbally together with your child.

3. Without using any […]

Shapeimals – Shape Art

Why is learning about shapes important?
When you look outside, while you probably don’t verbalise everything you see, you brain is processing, defining and sorting. It sees the brown, rectangular building, the yellow, triangular children crossing sign and the circles on the traffic lights. We all use shape as a way of identifying and organising what we see. Very early on, your child begins to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes.

Children learn about shapes and their properties by playing with them. I have been having fun making animals out of basic shapes which is easy and fun […]