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Supporting Mathematics Learning at Home



Younger children

Younger children will likely benefit from activities, games, and discussion with parents. Working with younger children at home, it is important not to see mathematics as a separate or standalone activity but rather as something which can be incorporated into everyday activities, games, stories, and conversations.4

Here are some ways that we can support parents to celebrate maths as part of their day:

Board games, particularly ones with linear, numbered, equal-sized spaces can be useful for the development of early number skills. Most families will have ‘Snakes and Ladders’ or something similar; if not, this is a great opportunity to make your own!


Other ideas:

  • Incorporate mathematics into everyday routines and activities: tidying up and meal times in particular provide opportunities for conversations about counting, comparing, time, and sharing.
  • Snack times and meals are a great opportunity to learn mathematics, such as counting, estimating and comparing. For example, with young children, you could count and match items in a ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic.’ You can compare quantities such as more or less or quantify food items (making sure to link the last number counted to the number of items in the set) or discuss the capacity of different cups or jugs. A parent or puppet can make deliberate errors in counting and sharing, with the child encouraged to identify these mistakes.
  • Use mathematical vocabulary where possible as part of conversations and play: for example, when making comparisons (which is bigger? which teddy is first in line? who has more? are they shared fairly?). Opportunities can also be taken for ‘shape-spotting’ and sorting around the home.


(Source: EEF, Supporting the learning of Mathematics at home)  

Written Methods


Many parents/ carers report that they worry about which method their child should be adopting when solving mathematical problems requiring a written method.  Below are a collection of videos that will support you in helping your child use the right method.

Column Addition

Column addition is explored in years 3-6. In years 3 and 4, the expanded method is used more. By the end of Year 6, pupils are meant to be able to use the compact method for a variety of problems - including problems containing decimal points.
Source: Math Antics

Multi-Digit Subtraction

As pupils progress through the year groups, they have to solve subtraction problems involving larger numbers.
This video outlines how this is taught in years 5 and 6.
Source: Math Antics

Short Multiplication

In years 5 & 6, pupils learn short multiplication before they build on this and learn long multiplication. The video below explains short multiplication.
Source: Math Antics

Math Antics - Long Multiplication

In years 5 & 6, pupils learn long multiplication to multiply larger numbers. The video below explains short multiplication.
Source: Math Antics