Help teaching maths at home yr 1

(25 Posts)
stillohsotired Mon 25-Mar-19 09:10:24

Hi, I wondered if anyone had any tips on how to teach basic maths at home for a yr 1 5 year old child? My son seems quite confused about some basics and the school say they don't have time to recap. I'd like to support him when he does his homework with teaching him the same way they do plus explaining things in different ways, perhaps with physical cues. I think its so important to get the basic concepts right and if you misunderstand something in maths you get further and further behind and your confidence goes pretty quick. I'd appreciate any basic guide on methods to use to teach early years maths. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Mon 25-Mar-19 09:18:25

My ds's school makes maths calculation handbooks for parents and it's on the website as well. Also do maths meetings and parents workshop to explain the methods they use at his school.
Do your dc's school have anything like that? Or ask them to make one?

stillohsotired Tue 26-Mar-19 06:27:45

Good idea, I ask them. Currently they just come home with some exercises and sometimes the grammar and sentence construction doesn’t make much sense so we have to guess what method is meant to be used. More guidance would so help but I wondered if there was anything widely available to support the curriculum as I don’t think we’ll get much from our school x

OP’s posts: |
Xiaoxiong Tue 26-Mar-19 06:39:03

My 5 year old is loving the Doodlemaths app, 5 questions a day - make sure you don't help as the app learns the child's level and presents appropriate content.

Other than that, we use a lot of pasta for counting out, number lines, and we have Lego blocks that stick together in lines of 10 to do place value. I got all these ideas from Pinterest home schooling boards (we don't homeschool, I was in the same position as you where DS2 didn't seem to have the concepts down).

sam221 Tue 26-Mar-19 06:44:26

I would recommend work books that you pickup from most bookshops or Amazon. Setting a start system for time on the books helps.
What type of things does your child enjoy? The children I raised, loved cooking so we incorporated it in. So baking simple fairy eggs/fruit platters(with melted chocolate), with enlarged written recipe and following them. Fun, messy and full of delicious numbers.
Painting was also a big deal, depending on if you have a garden:
I used to buy rolls of wall lining paper, stick it all on fencing/walls in the garden and we used to do 10/20 second painting, whilst doing a countdown/up. Lots of fun plus not much cleaning up. My personal favourite was splattering/throwing paint on paper and counting up the spodges(also identify what they looked like!)
Eventually we moved onto supermarket shops- counting out items for the trolley, later on adding totals before the till point.
If it makes sense we sort of embraced maths/english without it being onerous.

KTD27 Tue 26-Mar-19 07:30:13

Echoing a Pp Your school should have a calculation policy. Something like this which I found from a quick google. If they don’t this might be a good place to start. There’s one for multiplication and division too somewhere I’d assume.
This should lay out what learning and methods went on in the foundation stage which will help to build on and also detail the methods which should be being taught in year one.

FanSpamTastic Tue 26-Mar-19 07:43:14

This book helps explain some of the new methods used here.

We have also used mathletics to support home learning.


Weenurse Tue 26-Mar-19 07:47:58

Also cooking with them so they learn to identify half cups and full cups, weights and measures.
Advantage is by the time they were 9 and 10 they were cooking one night a week each. Could read recipes etc as well so counting what was required for each recipe and how many ingredients.
Both were fussy eaters so helped with that as well.

GreenTulips Tue 26-Mar-19 07:50:11

Get a basic set of numicon on Amazon for about £30
They come in handy all the way up to year 6
Really visual and really help

Holidayshopping Tue 26-Mar-19 07:50:35

I struggle to believe anything they do in y1 is that difficult to explain. I would make an appointment with the teacher and take specific things you don’t understand to show them.

ILiveInSalemsLot Tue 26-Mar-19 07:53:03

Try some online maths.
I know some kids have had success with Maths Factor but there are others too.

OKBobble Tue 26-Mar-19 07:54:33

I am agog that a school will not "recap" when a year 1 is struggling with basic maths concepts. When do they think he will learn them if not there. I think you should be making an appointment with head of KS1 to ascertain what he will be doing when he if left behind and they are building on their learning. Just sitting twiddling his thumbs.

It is great you want to help but really wrong that they are not all over this at this vital stage in his education.

user789653241 Tue 26-Mar-19 09:12:40

Holidayshopping, that's not true. The way they teach maths has changed so much from how us most parents learned. So if they don't know what they are doing, it's no way they can explain, according to how they learn things these days.
Children who are good at understanding the concept may have no problem and can learn using any methods, but some who aren't may get confused if the parents tries to explain the different way from how they are taught at school.

Holidayshopping Tue 26-Mar-19 09:16:25

Holidayshopping, that's not true

My point was-the maths isn’t difficult. It won’t take the teacher 5 minutes to explain it to the parent.

DeanImpala67 Tue 26-Mar-19 10:10:40

Try the "Maths for Mums and Dads" book by Rob Eastaway and Mike Askew. It covers all the primary maths methods from number bonds up to data handling in year 6. It shows errors children can make and why and explains the methods used now compared to when some parents were at school. A great way to help a stuck parent with primary maths!

sparkling123 Tue 26-Mar-19 10:13:54

Watching this thread, I remember really struggling with maths in year 1, and then a TA showing me how to add and take away on a ruler and I suddenly got it. Sometimes it takes a different method to the standard one taught

user789653241 Tue 26-Mar-19 10:45:55

Holidayshopping, maths isn't difficult for some people, but for others, it is. I had trouble understanding the concept of numbers, my father sat with me and taught me every night until I finally got it, when I was around 7/8. Luckily, my father was really good at maths, to be able to teach as a job.

GreenTulips Tue 26-Mar-19 12:23:04

Look up KS1 maths curriculum

Maths moves quickly time measure shapes adding one more one less counts in twos

They really don’t have time to keep going over last weeks maths because one child didn’t understand

MonteStory Tue 26-Mar-19 12:30:08

How on earth can you move a child forward when they haven’t got the first steps? They may as well be teaching him long division.

I have taught year 6 classes where some are working on adding and subtracting fractions and others are still developing a concept of thirds and fifths. Time has nothing to do with it.

Go back and ask how they are ensuring his progress. No one is asking them to go back over it with the whole class.

user789653241 Tue 26-Mar-19 13:29:55

"They really don’t have time to keep going over last weeks maths because one child didn’t understand"

That is such a sad thing to hear from someone I assume in education. This OP is willing to help. At least teacher can tell them what's the problem is, and how they can help their children.

Helix1244 Tue 26-Mar-19 17:30:43

I think maths does move too quickly in year 1. It's the double digit add sub partitioning etc.
I feel that although building more understanding with these methods it would be easier to follow a method with columnar add sub.

JustRichmal Wed 27-Mar-19 10:33:19

Buy a year 1 revision guide, some paper, including graph paper and some colourful felt tips. You can then work through this with your child, thinking of as many colourful and fun ways as you can to explain it.

I agree with irvineoneohone, you do need to follow the modern methods of teaching maths, but any good revision guide, (Letts or CGP for example), will use things like number lines and partitioning, (splitting numbers into hundreds, tens and units), but if you are unsure, most teachers are happy spend a few minutes explaining how they do things. Also look out for any classes run by the school for parents to understand how maths is taught now.

The main thing is to keep it fun, use as many drawings and diagrams as you can to explain and do not expect your dc to understand it straight away. I used to get dd to indicate with her thumb as to what level her understanding was, so she could see, even if she did not yet completely understand, she had made progress.

Most importantly, a child learns by doing, not by being told. So get a workbook with questions, write out questions and also keep stopping in your explanations for your child to figure out the next step. This takes patience, as children will often take longer to think over things than you think before giving an answer.

Encourage them with lots of praise, but make it specific to an example of something they have done.

Pick a time when they want to do maths and stop when they want to stop.

Hopefully you should not get stuck on anything in year 1, but in later years there is always the videos on Khan Academy to turn to. (When the maths seems incomprehensible, Sal has a very calming voice).

AnemoneAnenome Mon 01-Apr-19 17:19:26

Do ask the teacher if they would recommend anything.

We had a set of numicon as recommended above - our school had some and really rated it. Fab for number bonds, odds and evens, etc. We used to make "number bonds sandwiches" and pretended the different colours were different fillings. But we chose it first and foremost because it reflected school.

Dienes' apparatus is also fabulous in terms of helping understanding IMO, but they will likely have access to it at school anyway. We had a wooden set which was just lovely. It wasn't great value for money in terms of the number of hours' use it got, but it added a lot to their understanding IMO and it would often come out in the middle of dinner to help illustrate someone's point. Perhaps we talked about maths too much at the table blush

Gingerivy Mon 01-Apr-19 17:32:46

They really don’t have time to keep going over last weeks maths because one child didn’t understand

This is the attitude that we saw from my dc's former teacher when he was in year 1, and they couldn't be bothered differentiating his work and helping him to understand. "He doesn't need to understand it," she said, "he just needs to memorise it." Except we already had preliminary testing showing he was likely dyslexic (confirmed now that he is) and that he had short term/working memory problems. So he couldn't even process it enough to memorise it anyway.

The comment I heard over and over from the teacher? "We have 29 other children in the class - I cannot set individual work for him or it'll be expected for all of them!" hmm So she just moved him forward in maths and reading regardless of the fact that he actually wasn't progressing and was falling further and further behind.

Lougle Mon 01-Apr-19 17:59:39

Poor you! When DD2 was struggling with maths at that age, I actually made some number beads, using wire and coloured beads. You can buy them on eBay, etc., though. It made the concept of numbers real.

I also used numicon. 'The Montessori Stamp game' is brilliant for showing what it actually happening when you do sums where you have to exchange 100's for 10's, etc.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in