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Helping children aged 10 to 11 with maths at home


Girl doing maths homeworkBy this stage, children will be using large numbers and negative numbers for all operations (+ – × ÷). For example, how much must the temperature drop to go from +10° to –6°?

Maths topics get revisited over and over again, usually at a more complex level. This helps children to consolidate what they have learned and to become fully confident - they are adding to their knowledge all the time.

You can really help your child at this stage by continuing to take an interest in the maths they're doing, and bringing numeracy into as many aspects of life at home as you can on a practical level (eg the value of 3-for-2 or 'bogof', sales and discounts when shopping).

Cooking together is another useful activity - halving and doubling quantities depending on the numbers involved (converting a recipe for two people into a recipe for four).

Some children find decimals difficult, so it can be helpful to encourage them to read and say decimal numbers digit by digit. For example: 0.125 is nought point one two five, not nought point one hundred and twenty-five. Some children think that the more digits, the bigger the number must be – a great deal of practice is needed.

Games involving numbers

Games are still important, so any games involving an exchange of large sums of money, such as Monopoly, are very useful for extending maths skills. There are also many electronic games available - the important thing is that they have some mathematical content.

Games of chance are also helpful and popular. You could try 'Dice bingo' to get them started with the idea.

Dice bingo

Each person has a bingo card with eight squares. Each player can choose eight numbers to put on their card, between 2 and 12. (They can also choose several numbers that are the same.) Roll two dice and, if your number comes up, cross it off your card - the first card to be completed is the winner. 

The game is a combination of luck and skill - skill because you can increase your chances by carefully considering the numbers you choose. Children soon realise that some number combinations come up more often than others. For example, 7 can be 6 + 1, 5 + 2 or 3 + 4, whereas 2 is only 1 + 1. See how quickly your child realises this.

Solving problems

As with younger children, having fun and getting the right answer are really important if your child is to enjoy maths and become confident . At this stage, children are solving problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and explaining their reasoning. They have well-developed computation skills and are able to solve problems involving money, time and measurement.

They will use a variety of methods. For example, if a child is asked to divide 749 by 7, they may well say: One hundred 7s is 700, and seven 7s is 49. Therefore, my answer is 107. Or they may divide 749 by 7 using a long division method such as:


Some methods may be more efficient than others, but both of these methods show that children understand what they are doing and are using facts that they know. For example:

7 × 7 = 49 and 7 × 100 = 700

This is a form of chunking (taking away multiples of a given number).

You might like to do more of these so your child becomes confident using it as a method.

challenge 1

challenge 2


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Last updated: 8 months ago