Introduction to supporting numeracy
Supporting numeracy at home
Numeracy is about being able to understand and use numbers in a range of situations, for example when solving problems or making decisions in situations involving numbers.
How can I help?
Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom, it can happen anywhere.
A child or young person’s everyday routine offers many opportunities and experiences to practise and apply their numeracy skills in real and meaningful ways.
There are many ways that you can build learning activities into everyday routines to support your child’s numeracy skills.
Below are some simple ideas to build numeracy skills into everyday activities from early years to secondary.
- Look out for all numbers you see around the house.
- Count how many steps there are from the gate to the front door or around the garden and talk about the differences in the size of your steps.
- As you tidy up, encourage your child to arrange toys and books in order of size.
- Count how many things are in the fridge or the cupboard.
- Count how many star jumps or hops you and others in your household can do.
- Investigate different coins and talk about their value.
- Play board games which need the use of dice e.g. ludo or snakes and ladders.
- Point out the time on the clock, particularly at breakfast, dinner or bedtime.
First and Second Level (Primary)
- Estimate and take their own, your and other family members measurements – height, weight, shoe size.
- Play games which involve calculating scores e.g board games or online games.
- Calculate the cost of a home delivery or take away.
- Explain how to work out the value of the graduations on the scales on measuring equipment.
- When baking, encourage your child to explain how they would work out quantities to make the recipe for more or less people. e.g for making 18 cupcakes from a recipe for 6.
- Allow your child to be in charge of setting the timer while you cook together, this will develop skills in estimating time and provide opportunities for calculating time durations.
Third and Fourth Level (Secondary)
- Look at graphs and charts online, on TV or in the newspaper and discuss the results.
- Discuss articles in the newspaper. Consider the numerical evidence, interpret graphs and tables.
- Follow a recipe independently.
- Research best deals when planning a large purchase such as mobile phone tariffs/contracts or entertainment packages – comparison websites.
- Calculate total costs for items being purchased online.
- Plan meals for the week using a set budget using online grocery stores to find prices.
Numeracy and Mathematics Glossary
This glossary has been developed for parents and carers of children and young people in the broad general education in Scottish schools. It defines some of the commonly used terms in numeracy and mathematics.
Every Day's a Learning Day
'Every Day's a Learning Day' consists of two books produced by Education Scotland for parents and carers of children aged between birth and 3 years, and 3 to 6 years. The aim is to help parents support their child’s development in the crucial areas of health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy.
This resource highlights the many excellent learning opportunities that exist within daily experiences such as washing the dishes, preparing a meal or doing the shopping.
For parents of children aged birth to 3 years:
PDF file: Every Day’s a Learning Day (birth to 3 years) (4.5 MB)
PDF file: Is gach latha latha ionnsachaidh/Every Day’s a Learning Day - Gaelic version (birth to 3 years) (5.8 MB)
For parents of children aged 3 to 6:
PDF file: Every Day’s a Learning Day (3-6 years) (5.1 MB)
PDF file: Is gach latha latha ionnsachaidh/Every Day’s a Learning Day - Gaelic version (3 to 6 years) (4.7 MB)
'I am a mathematician' resource
Mathematics is important in our everyday lives, allowing us to make sense of the world around us.
We use it every day, at work, leisure and at home. Parents and carers can play a vital role in reinforcing the importance of maths to their children, promoting a positive attitude towards it and making it a fun activity to do together as a family.
This resource will help parents to support their children's learning with fun activities to do at home.
PDF file: I am a mathematician (8.6 MB)
PDF file: I am a mathematician - Gaelic version (19.8 MB)
Read, Write, Count - Tips, ideas and activities for you and your children to read, write and count together and promote home school partnerships.
Making Maths Count - This report encourages greater enthusiasm for maths amongst children, young people and parents.
BBC - Bitesize – Early Level - Mathematics - Fun activities to help children at Early Level in Scotland learn more about Mathematics.
BBC - Bitesize - First Level - Mathematics - Fun activities to help children at 1st Level in Scotland learn more about Mathematics.
BBC - Bitesize - Second Level - Mathematics - Fun activities to help children at 2nd Level in Scotland learn more about Mathematics.
BBC - Bitesize - Third Level - Mathematics - Fun activities to help children at 3rd Level in Scotland learn more about Mathematics.
BBC - Bitesize - Fourth Level - Mathematics - Fun activities to help children at 4th Level in Scotland learn more about Mathematics.
National Numeracy – Family Toolkit - The National Numeracy Family Maths Toolkit is designed to help families enjoy learning maths together.
If you would like to find out more about improving your own numeracy skills please visit the links below:
Skint! - A money management resource created for adult literacy and numeracy support groups.
The Big Plus - The Big Plus encourages adults to improve their reading, writing and number skills.
National Numeracy - However you feel about maths, you’re not alone. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free and easy-to-use website you can use to improve your confidence with numbers.