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DD just doesn't get math/numeracy at all, what should I do?

(13 Posts)
oneofthosedays Wed 28-Sep-11 21:10:43

DD is in Y3 and has always been slow on the uptake with numbers/sums etc but a whiz with reading/literacy. She's started a new school this time (was at infants before and current school is Infant & Jr with mixed year classes, DD currently working alongside Y4) and has brought home her first piece of numeracy homework. Basically it was a list of items and prices and DD had to work out how much change from 100p they would get from each item using a number line and counting on from the item cost to the 100p. She appears to have been shown to count up the the nearest 10 and then count on in 10's to the 100p.

She just completely does not understand it at all and was getting quite upset as she had been working through each one and thought she was doing it right, but when I checked through her answers they were completely wrong. I tried to explain what I thought the teacher was trying to get at but DD got upset again, saying that teacher had told her to do it this way. I'm getting in a bit of a state about this and not sure what to do. Is this the sort of think someone of DD's age (7) should be able to do easily?

I've told her to leave the homework as it is and DH is going to include a note saying that she doesn't seem to understand it. Will the teacher pick up on this a figure that she is struggling or should we request a word with the teacher (not supposed to approach them and drop off/pick up) or leave this until parent's eve (which will be around Oct I think)?

Any advice would be fab, I'm even thinking of looking into Kumon or something for some extra help with the numeracy!!

rubyrubyruby Wed 28-Sep-11 21:13:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 21:19:59

A note on her hw saying it was too hard for her will be fine.

Do you know what level she got in her KS1 SATS for Maths? You should have been told it last year with her school report....

oneofthosedays Wed 28-Sep-11 21:23:21

Was 2c I think

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 21:28:25

A 2c is fine. It means she's not struggling. (Although is at the bottom end of where school would like her to be.)

Doesn't sound like something you need to worry about yet.

oneofthosedays Wed 28-Sep-11 21:33:06

ruby - Never had any explanation of methods or ways to help the children with their numeracy either at the last school or this one. I'll look into the CGP books, thanks.

Has anyone else used these?

Have just checked the Kumon website and it is waaaay too expensive for us blush

RosemaryandThyme Wed 28-Sep-11 22:48:43

Random thought here but could it be that she is just confused with this homework because it is bringing in the concept of money ? the TES had an article on children struggling with money based questions as they don't often handle money now so much is paid by cards.

When she has a little pocket money or goes to the counter in a shop can she work out the change ?
If she hasn't done this much before, I would plod her around town on Saturday, keep five pound coins in your pocket, and let her buy five different things for less than a pound in each of five shops, at the counter write down the calculation for her (elderly shop owners love this - saturday que folk do not - just ignore the huffing and puffing) she will be so pleased with herself, encouragement from till operators and a little stash of goodies to take home - she'll be adding up the left-over change and working out what else she can buy all the way home.
(PS - don't go to the pound shop obviously !!!)
Have fun - maths only ever matters when it is used.

sarahfreck Thu 29-Sep-11 10:09:58

The CGP REvision books for each year are particularly good for giving a parent a good overview of what will be covered and methods used. I often refer to them!

oneofthosedays Thu 29-Sep-11 18:21:10

Thanks for all the advice. I'm trying to get her handling money a bit more, she does get spending money and we count it up every so often but she's not brilliant at 'real world' problem solving - give her a sum and she will work it out (slowly and with encouragement) but put it into context and she's utterly baffled. Will have to keep working on her grin

Madlizzy Thu 29-Sep-11 18:25:25

I'd highly recommend this game pop to the shops Really helpful with learning about money.

Ferguson Thu 29-Sep-11 19:08:53


As a TA I've worked with children from Reception to Yr4, and many DO find money difficult, also learning to tell the time.

They often want to just count coins, not really understanding the relative value of each coin. Yet, if you were to offer them a 2p coin and a 50p coin and ask which they would prefer to have, invariably they will choose the 50p! This seems to suggest that they DO have some understanding of relative value.

Whenever possible it is best to have real objects to illustrate maths concepts, so if you should happen to have a hoard of small change, play with that; or buy 'toy' plastic money, or even draw and colour on paper replicas of coins.

Even the concept of 'giving change' can confuse some children, so see if you can simplify the teacher-set questions and start her on the easiest examples possible. The Number Line concept she should be familiar with, and she can probably count in tens, fives and twos; but depending on the standard of the previous school may be not much more.

But try not to 'push' her, as it's impossible for anyone to understand and learn when they are frustrated and stressed!

Good luck.

hocuspontas Thu 29-Sep-11 19:18:08

I think it is difficult for children to understand all the different ways of subtraction. E.g. taking away, finding the difference, counting on. Maybe they didn't cover these in her old school?

aries12 Thu 29-Sep-11 20:46:40

You could try playing"shop" with her...time consuming but she may enjoy it. Get her familiar with looking at money and handling money.Spend a littlr time most evening just sounting coins..lining up 10 pennies and getting her to show you 10p and so on... You can also buy play money. My Dd is of similar age, she spends a lot of time on Moneyville (website) and loves it..however, I think your Dd may need to be familiar with the money/spending/taking away side of Maths first.
You should also speak to her teacher, it is stressful for the child and parent if the work is too difficult.

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