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Should I be worried about dd maths

(8 Posts)
ElinElin Wed 17-Oct-12 22:54:35

Today dd did maths homework year 2 . It was adding and subtracting in 10s . It seemed quite straight forward for her. I then decided to do number bonds to 10 with her which is something they learnt in year1 . She struggled and worked it out by counting on her fingers. I then asked her ' if I am 32 and my friend is 2 years younger than me, how old is my friend ? She thought and then said 34. I realise that she was adding instead. So I said who is the oldest the one who is 32 or the one who is 34. She said correctly 34. I said but this friend is Younger than me ..... It went on for about 5 min and she gave me some random answers before she finally realised she had to subtract . Could she have a difficulty with maths do you think? She is about average in her class in maths but sometimes she seems to get things end sometimes she gives answers that make no sense st all . Very inconsistent . Your thoughts please and any advice how to move forward welcome too

mam29 Thu 18-Oct-12 00:15:17

my dd year 2similar maths homework

subtractions of tens and units.

but dd school encourage use/aid of number square

so eg


go down 1square to 46 which is underneath 56 on square
then count back 4places =42

i do worry shes too dependant on number square and not fullly confident.

redskyatnight Thu 18-Oct-12 09:20:50

I don't think it's any sort of problem at this age. In Y1 they get lots of different methods thrown at them and IMO they end the year still trying to sort them all out. My Y2 also works out number bonds on her fingers and confuses adding and subtracting. I am confident that she will become much more secure over the next year (which was my experience with her older brother).

MilkRunningOutAgain Thu 18-Oct-12 11:35:52

Dd in yr 2 is very similar, and so are the yr 2 twins at her childminders. They are all in the same class and on middle tables for maths.

Dd definitely doesn't get place values and finds adding or taking away without fingers, number line or number square difficult / impossible.

It worries me from time to time and I have spoken to her teacher about it. But i've been told it seems fairly normal at this age, though I am not expecting her to blossom into a gifted mathematician, I'm hoping she'll continue improving and enjoying maths, which luckily she does as it's all puzzles and games to her at the moment and she doesn't mind getting it wrong and having another go.

DS was quite different and could do complex mental maths by this age. It's hard not to compare. But then again he is ridiculously upset if he gets it wrong, which causes its own set of different problems...

PastSellByDate Thu 18-Oct-12 17:01:54

Hi Elinelin:

I'm just a Mum but definitely agree with others that what you've described is pretty normal - and the confusion was also normal in our experience.

It's very early on in Y2 - but what you should be trying to do is monitor whether your DD's ability with maths is improving.

Does she get regular maths homework? If so is she able to do it on her own or do you have to help a lot? Sometimes this is difficult, because they may be able to do the maths but need help with the instructions/ explanation of what they are meant to do.

Two games are really useful:

Play 21 or Black Jack - explain that Ace = 1, 1 - 10 = 1 - 10 and Jack, Queen and King also = 10.

Now deal two cards to each player. Play the first few hands open, but later you can play with cards up. Have your DD add up her two cards - say 10 and 4. Say you have fourteen. Do you want to pick another card to try and make 21 or do you want to stop there.

Say she decides to pick a card - say it's a 5. Have her add them up (counting on fingers, number line, decomposing - so adding 5 + 4 = 9 and then adding the 10, whatever she wants is fine). She has 19. Does she stay or pick another card.

If you go over 21 - you bust.

If you get 21 - scream BLACK JACK.

If you want to stay - just say I'll hold.

Really helps those mental maths with numbers up to 20.


The other game is snakes and ladders. Great for counting up - use two - four dice to add bigger numbers (12 - 24) and play the board up and back if using more than 2 dice.

Excellent for subtraction practice as well - just play backwards. Add more dice for subtracting bigger numbers and start from 100 again - agree to play board 2 times or 3 times depending on number of dice.

some useful websites:

BBC KS1 Bitesize number pyramid: - an addition game where you are asked what + 3 = 9, etc... and have to work out the missing number.

Coolmaths for kids addition lessons/ games:

Coolmaths for kids subtraction lessons/ games:

(and for future ref - coolmaths for kids site here:

Woodlands primary addition zone:

Woodlands primary subtraction zone:

(and for future ref: woodlands junior school maths zone here:


Finally teaching these early maths skills is easier with a 100 number square and interactive ones here:

or try explaining things visually with dried fruit, sweets (like smarties) or buttons. Try to avoid using coins because numbers are on them - but do use them for money problem work.



learnandsay Thu 18-Oct-12 17:30:35

Don't they just learn, forget and relearn at this age? My four year old used to be able to do various subtractions from five in her head. Then she figured out that she can calculate using her fingers and now she won't do head calculations any more, everything has to be done on her fingers.

Elibean Thu 18-Oct-12 18:37:17

Even in Y3, the main problem with maths seemed to be understanding different terms for subtraction, addition, etc.

I wouldn't worry at all, tbh.

ElinElin Fri 19-Oct-12 09:46:51

Thanks for your comments and for the tips on websites and games

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