In the last week the education news in Australia has either been about backflips and frontflips about funding, or it has been about Australian results steadily declining in international PISA testing.

It all makes us feel a bit helpless. As individual parents and teachers, there is little we can do to influence funding decisions or to ensure that future PISA results improve.

As with everything in life, there is only ever one person you can change, and that person is you. Changing your own attitudes, beliefs and actions will very likely have an effect on those around you and you will then affect change in your own small sphere. So this is where your focus should always be. On you. On what you can change.

There’s no point worrying about where Australia sits in international rankings. And there’s no point worrying about where funding will be allocated. The reality is that these things won’t really influence the life of your children and their education as much as you can.

Here, 5 months in to our journey to help instigate change in education, we remain firm on this message that parental involvement in education (with our emphasis on maths education) is the best way forward to achieving real improvement in educational outcomes. And why is that? Because you’re the best person capable of influencing and changing things in your small sphere – your family. The next best person is your child’s teacher or teachers, but like I mentioned above, there is little you can do to influence and change them.

So what you can REALLY do for your child’s education is see yourself as a central influence for progress and success. With the long summer holidays rapidly approaching (or perhaps they’ve already arrived) in Australia, your time with your children is an important time. It’s not a time to put education on hold while the kids “just have fun.” This is the wrong attitude, it assumes that education isn’t fun! Sure, sitting at a desk all day might not be fun, but we never advocate that sort of education at home anyway.

The baton of education is in your sole hands during these next months and there’s so many things you can explore and experiment with to learn more about your children’s interests and capabilities as well as your own ability to educate and inspire.

Have a look back through our activity posts and see what you might like to try with your kids. Make these school holidays about learning with fun at home.

A few of our favourites to get you started:

Exploring Symmetry

Maths Hide and Seek

A Fun Family Card Game

Shapeimals

The Creativity of Maths and Art

I’d better stop there, so many of them are my favourites!

 

Or why not get on board with our new series of activity posts?

Try our Dinner Time Maths Conversations.

Or, why not involve your children with our Summer Statistics Activities?

For younger children, we have wonderful tried and tested maths activities for toddlers that you can access online.

 

To really help your child’s educational outcomes, you need to get involved.

You need to build your confidence in your ability to be an important educational partner and you need to start when your children are young.

All you really need to do to set this all in motion is to choose something to start with. One activity. One interaction. That’s all it takes to positively influence your child’s education.

You just need to start.

Photo credit: Knoxville Museum of Art / Foter.com / CC BY-NC