Helping children aged nine to 10 with maths at home
By Year 5, children are adding, subtracting and doubling simple decimals. They learn to use calculators and are able to multiply and divide numbers by 10 and 100.
Not every child finds maths exciting, but if you are positive and join in maths games and activities, they're more likely to be confident and, in turn, enjoy themselves.
Try to be patient when your child says, "I don't get it!" (easier said than done), just take a break and return to it another time.
Continue to play any kind of games that involve developing your child's number and money-handling skills.
A useful game to develop decimal skills is to use a pack of playing cards with the picture cards removed. Shuffle the cards. Each player takes three cards. Make as many decimal numbers as you can using the three numbers chosen. For example: 2, 4, 7 could make 24.7, 2.47, 7.24 etc. Each person says the numbers they have made.
Shuffle and make more decimals. Ask questions such as, Which is the largest/smallest number? Will any combinations make a whole number?
Once again, shopping is a useful task to reinforce money-handling and number facts. For example: is it worth buying 3-for-2 on these biscuits? How much will we save?
Resort to bribery: "All the money we save on special offers this week, you can have as extra pocket money, but you need to add it up."
Finding the mean and median
You can continue to help with different aspects of maths, such as finding the mean and median. Using a set of dominoes, for example, your child picks five dominoes and then adds the dots on each domino together to give them five numbers. For example: 1 + 3 = 4, 2 + 2 = 4, etc. They record the score.
What is the mean score? A mean score is the most common form of average.
For example, find the total of a group of numbers (eg 4, 4, 6, 4, 7) and then divide by the number in the group. This means 4 + 4 + 6 + 4 + 7 = 25; 25 ÷ 5 = 5; 5 is the mean number.
What is the median score? The median is the middle value of all the items listed in order, the smallest first.
For example, with numbers 4, 4, 4, 6, 7, the median is 4. You can repeat this several times so your child is confident of the meaning of the terms - and it will remind you too, if it's all a bit rusty!
It's also important for your child to see patterns in numbers. Get them to choose any three consecutive numbers (eg 1, 2, 3 or 15, 16, 17) and add them together. What do you notice? Is the total always a multiple of 3?
It is important for children to have quick recall of their tables, so keep practising them. Time them and encourage them to beat their previous time.
They will also be working on percentages in schoo, so working out percentages for things they want to buy is an effective way to consolidate this.
Dividing cakes, pizzas etc into six or eight pieces is a useful way of using their knowledge of thirds and quarters.