My oldest loves Maths.
He enjoys discovering patterns and using logic to solve equations and multiplications. For him it is a welcome challenge to crack the codes of Mathematics.
Encouraging our children s natural learning inclinations can be so fun and rewarding…as well as daunting! Maths has NEVER been my strong point. It has even made me break out in a cold sweat when trying to answer questions for an insurance job I was applying for years ago. It’s almost as if every problem solving ability I have deserts me in my my hour of need!
Fortunately for me, my sons love of Maths is a good opportunity for me to build my own skills and confidence, as well as my sons!
Improving My Childs Fraction Skills
This week we decided to look at Fractions. While looking back at some of his practise books as of late, I noticed that this area could do with some improvement.
When trying to assess our children’s weak points, it is important to not only speak to the teacher about any rocky areas in their learning, but also observe for yourself by using workbooks appropriate to your child’s age group in your own home. Ideally they should be scoring over 70 % to ensure they understand the topics properly (over 80% if you are hoping to send them to a selective school eventually). Wherever the weak areas are, is where you should choose to focus and give your child extra support.
Why are Fractions Important
Fractions are one of those Maths subjects that you really can use in everyday life! It can be used for telling the time, working out amounts when cooking and baking, and even figuring out the cost of something.
Find free Resources
Having looked at a few websites, I decided to try TES, a website dedicated to teachers for jobs but also includes teaching packages and worksheets. Some of which are free and can be used by parents as well!
Before giving my son the practise papers, I read through the questions to make sure I remembered how to answer them myself in case he needed help. I used this worksheet and this one to help him practise both fractions as equations and as a sentence.
He found these ones easy to do and was pretty pleased with himself that he got them all bar one wrong. He realised very quickly where he had gone wrong in his answer and was able to correct it. Help your child to see where they went wrong so they are able to correct it. I will be revisiting factions in a week or two, to make sure he really understands it, and this time I will definitely make it harder.
Deciding to kick things up a notch for him I found the website Maths Games which does interactive free games to test your child’s knowledge by year. It’s an American website that’s dedicated to Maths Games and going through a couple of Fractions sections, (which he sailed through!) I finally found the section he posted needed help with – Reducing Fractions to Lowest Terms! We will probably revisit this everyday for the next three to four days to ensure he understands this concept too!
Make it Fun
One of the reasons I used this package (apart from the fact it was free) was that it was colourful and had different degrees of difficulty on each of the downloads. Switching up the medium on which he learns on keeps things fresh and interesting for him, and delivers instant results so he knows how well he’s done straight away.
As with any new skill, repetition and practise are key to ensuring our children understand the concept they are learning, and will often need revisiting in the future. Don’t pressure your child too much. Yes they need stretching and encouraging, but pushing them too hard will result in your child either getting angry or discouraged. Neither of which will help them understand what your trying to teach. Learning should be fun for the most part. Developing skills of hard work and seeing themselves improve should encourage inner confidence and a life long skill of enduring. Even (or especially) during hardship or pressure.
Praise your children for their efforts, let them know you love them through it all!
How do you help your children with Maths problems? Do you do any practical things as well as workbooks? How do you consolidate their learning? Share in the comments below!