Mathematics education

The Role of Every Parent in Children Mathematics Education

Over the years, it has been acceptable to say or tell someone that you can’t do math. The society welcomes it and in many homes today, the saying still goes on. Imagine for example here in the United Kingdom, English is what we speak and you would surely expect everyone you meet in the street or in the office to know the language. It will come as a surprise to you if you happen to ask for direction in the middle of Oxford street London and only to be told ‘sorry, I can’t speak English.’

The role of every parent in children mathematics education is huge. In my professional duty, I do communicate with parents on a regular basis. Personally it does not surprise me when people say that they can’t do math but what worries me is the legacy the impact of the phrase ‘can’t do math’ will have on their children and there after.

Mathematics is a broad subject. Its beauty overlaps in many other subjects and most practically in our daily business activities. This message really needs to be drilled down to the minds of your children. Now, you can promote mathematics in your home by applying the following strategies.

(1) Using your shopping receipts.
After shopping, throwing away the receipt is not helpful by any means particularly with young children at home. Pass the shopping receipts to them and ask them to re-calculate the totals including the deductions. Take away calculator from them and ask to see the working out. This is a good way to set homework for your own children. By doing the long list of calculation, your children will be mapping their minds to helping their parents against over-payment without realising they are practising accounting and computation.

(2) Using the telephone bill.
Please be cautious here. Ideally your children would not interfere with your telephone numbers but, if that is not the case, then block the numbers by crossing them off or doing photocopies. Again, the mathematics to be tapped is huge. Accuracy is number one. Place values and working with decimals are difficult topics with young students, but you see, your children can consolidate on these by working on your telephone bill. Again take away all calculators. The role of every parent in children mathematics education has to be something to be proud of.

(3) Using Gas bills and Electricity bills.
Do the same here. This requires a little bit of high level maths but let them do it. If they can do it once, they will not ask for your help next time round. There is lots of mathematics to be learned from these bills. Skills in conversion is needed, percentages, ratio, meter reading and value added tax calculations are all part of everyday mathematics. By engaging your children to the family mathematics, you are technically equipping them with life essential skills.

The added bonus is that your children will be aware of ways to reduce cost by using less water, switching off lights when not in use, saving food rather than throwing them all away in the bin and guess what, you will be helping them to become more energy efficient thereby saving the environment.

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