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How Can I Help My Child at Home


Maths can be a daunting subject. Not only does it cover a huge range of skills, but it’s also one of the few subjects where a strong understanding of the fundamentals is essential for future learning.

Maths is taught differently now than when many parents were in school. There’s more focus on the basics, which is great (no, really, it is). But that can feel incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to help your child understand their maths homework.

No matter what your history with maths, you can still help your child master mathematical concepts at home. And you may even have some lightbulb moments you missed at school.

Whether your child is struggling with maths or wants to improve their skills, It’s time to ditch the maths stress and tackle this subject together! Keep reading for our 14 best tips to help your children with maths.

How to help kids with maths at home (even if you hate maths)

1. Maintain a positive attitude

Some children (and adults) feel anxiety when presented with a maths problem. But if your child is struggling with a concept, that doesn’t mean they’re bad at maths- and you’re not bad at maths either!

Maths is a skill that takes practice, just like any other. You’ll learn it, even if it’s confusing right now. This just means you don’t understand it yet.

Encourage this attitude with your child to help them build their maths confidence. They can grow into maths understanding, but it takes time. Use a growth mindset approach and you’ll both be amazed at what you can learn.

2. Ask maths questions that interest your child

Let’s face it — some maths can be boring. If your kid doesn’t care much about trains, why should they care about how fast they’re going or where they’ll meet? Instead of pushing them to answer these standard questions, ask them about what they’re actually interested in.

Maths is everywhere. You’ll find mathematical relationships throughout nature. Your child can discover angles and physics while jumping toy monster trucks. Or they can explore measurements while baking or doing crafts.

Find numbers in what they already love and watch their interest in maths grow!

3. Encourage communication

Children can talk our ears off about their favourite Roblox game, but when it comes to school questions, they sometimes shut down. That’s normal, but it can also make it difficult to keep up with their work.

When possible, try to open up some judgement-free conversations about maths. Ask how it’s going and if they feel good about their new lessons. Don’t jump in and try to solve their problems right away. And be careful about remarks like, “oh, that’s easy”. If they talk, just listen.

If your child is reluctant to share, check in with their teacher. Ask about the topics they’re studying and how you can help. Then, use these insights to get the conversation going at home.

4. Be patient and take it slow

Maths builds on itself, but that means it can be tricky to keep up if your child is struggling with a new concept. When this happens, slow down and back up. Don’t keep pushing new ideas until they understand the old ones.

This same advice works for you, too. Be patient with yourself — it’s been a while since you’ve learnt new skills in maths, and the work may look a lot different now. But with some time and perseverance, you can help your child succeed.

5. Practice and refine math vocabulary

Maths vocabulary is all around us, but that doesn’t mean we’re very comfortable with it. Try using maths vocabulary in everyday language and it will slowly start feeling a lot less intimidating. Bring up percentages when you’re shopping a sale, or talk about parts of a whole while cooking.

Of course, there are plenty of math words we don’t see everyday. Do you remember exponents, tangents, or the commutative property? If not, that’s totally okay! All you need is a refresher and some practice.

For example, when your child is studying areas, take some time to make sure you understand what you’re actually discovering. Understanding the bigger concept (calculating the amount of surface space vs just plugging in length and width) is what will bring those light bulb moments.

6. Show maths in everyday life

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating — maths is everywhere. It’s probably not trigonometry or pre-calculus, but you’re doing maths all the time. Pay attention and you’ll catch these maths moments. When you do, share them with your child.

When kids are young, just counting or sorting is a great start. As they get older, look for maths lessons while baking, shopping, playing games, or talking about money. Budgeting is a major life skill that uses so much maths. Find these practical maths moments and help your child see the value in a maths education.

7. Get your child to teach you maths

Maths looks a little different now. If your kid’s homework is confusing for you, ask them to explain their process.

This is a great connecting moment to share with your child. And it can set you up to be a better helper if they run into frustration in later lessons.

8. Talk about maths around the house

Seriously, maths is everywhere. It’s true! And that means you’re not bad at maths — you do it every day! Find places to use maths around your house to help your child’s maths abilities come to life.

Count the slices of pizza the next time you order out, then determine the percentage of pizza everyone has eaten. Get your little ones to help you sort socks. Talk about the probability of rolling an even number during your family night board game session. Look around and you’ll find tons of opportunities!

9. Use online maths resources

If you have access to the internet, there’s always somewhere you can get all of your maths questions answered.

There are many free learning resources, like those on the BBC Bitesize and Prodigy blog. Give them a read and then explore maths together with your child. There are always opportunities to learn something new online, especially when it comes to maths!

10. Try game-based learning

If you find your child getting frustrated, ditch the textbooks and worksheets and try something different.

Game-based learning is all the rage, and for good reason. Kids are naturally drawn to games, whether they’re cooperative board games or video games played on their tablets. Why? Because games are fun and exciting!

Game-based learning can take the stress out of maths instruction. Kids can practice their maths with just the right mix of the familiar and the challenging.

Prodigy Maths, for example, is a game-based learning platform where players explore fantasy worlds, build characters and battle friends — all while answering curriculum-aligned maths questions

Useful websites and apps to use at home

Maths activities to print



As a parent, you can play an important role in helping your child learn to read. Research shows that children who are helped at home make better progress in school.

Reading with your child can be fun and very rewarding. It also shows that you value his/her efforts. If children enjoy reading, it will benefit their whole education. They are also more likely to carry on reading as adults. Reading aloud to children is the best way to get them interested in reading. Spending time with word games, stories, and books will help your child not only improve with their reading, but also their writing.

Supporting Reading at Home

Useful Questions Reception & Key Stage One

(who, what, why, where, when, how.)

  • Who is in the story?
  • Where is the story set?
  • Can you use the pictures to tell part of the story?
  • How do you think the story will end?
  • What will happen next?
  • Do you like the characters? Why?
  • What happens in the story?
  • What did the characters say? Why?
  • How did a character scare, upset or help another character? Has this ever happened to you? How did you feel?
  • Did the story make you think of something that has happened to you or someone you know?
  • Can you put the main events in order?
  • How would you feel at this point in the story?
  • What would you do?
  • How do you think a character feels?
  • Why did a character do/say something in the text?
  • How did a character in the book help/upset another in the story? Why?
  • What advice would you give the characters?

Years 3 and 4

  • Can you explain why you think a character did that in the story?
  • What does this word/phrase tell you about the character or setting?
  • What does the word ‘X’ tell us about ‘Y’?
  • Find two ways in which the writer tells you about an event/setting/character/theme
  • Which words did you like the most? Why?
  • In the story ‘X’ is mentioned a lot. Why?
  • What other words/phrases could the writer have used?
  • What do you think the writer meant by writing ‘X’?
  • Which words do you think are the most important in this sentence/paragraph/page? Why?

Years 5 and 6

  • What did that character mean when they said ‘X’?
  • Are the character’s actions a surprise or what you expected?
  • Why is that character surprised/scared/excited/angry?
  • Explain the character’s actions or reactions to events in the story
  • What clues are there in the story to show that that character is happy/angry/sad/excited etc?
  • What do you think this character thinks of another character? Why?
  • How did the writer make you think this?
  • Has the writer been successful in creating a setting/mood/character/theme? What else could they have done?
  • Choose a passage from the text describing a particular event and question the children on the atmosphere before and after the event.
  • Describe different character’s reactions to the same event
  • What impression do you have of the main character?


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