Many parents are unsure how to help their children with the maths they are learning at school. This is perfectly reasonable since their understanding of the way maths can, and should be taught has changed considerably. What is known now however, is how important it is for students to develop a positive attitude towards maths.

In theory this should not be difficult since almost all aspects of daily life involve mathematics – whether it is counting, measuring, estimating, reasoning or problem-solving. In reality, many students’ experiences of maths consist of memorising formulas and doing exercises from a textbook and for no apparent reason.

How can parents help? One idea is by showing children how useful maths is outside the classroom. For example: budgeting, food shopping, the chance of rain, reading the fuel gauge, or estimating the time it takes to get to an appointment. The Mathematical Association of WA (MAWA) runs regular workshops for parents and school holiday workshops for students on puzzles, games and various other mathematical themes.

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