How To ... Help your child with maths

2012-12-11 14:34

The results of the annual national assessments (ANA), which involve maths as well as language tests, were released this past week.

For the first time, Grade 9 pupils also wrote the tests this year and scored a dismal national average of 13% in numeracy.

According to experts, too little homework, incompetent teachers and uninvolved parents are some of the possible reasons for Grade 9 pupils’ poor maths marks.

Not all is lost, however. Experienced maths teachers Alison Kitto and Retha Raath say extra lessons don’t necessarily have to be the first and only solution to improving your child’s numeracy. Parents who are involved in their children’s schooling can make a huge difference.

Raath said many pupils “are just too lazy to do their homework and don’t do any extra exercises”.

Extra classes are expensive – anything from R100 to R400 an hour – and Raath says they must not Replace daily homework.

Here’s what you can do:

» Make sure your child gets enough homework and completes it;

» Learn with your child – use the textbook;

» If you get stuck, ask the teacher;

» Reinforcement is important. Get your child to do extra exercises;

» Extra classes should not only consist of explanations by the tutor. The pupil must also work; and

» Encourage confidence – results often come only after a child has built up self-confidence.

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