We may all have hated maths class when growing up but it is surprising how often you will find yourself using numeracy skills in your day to day life. We oftentimes use them without even thinking, with transactions of money being one of the main situations.
Numeracy skills are not just for scientists, accountants or the taxman, many professions require at least a basic level of understanding when it comes to numeracy and mathematics.
For example, many young people’s first jobs may be working behind a counter or bar, where they will need the ability to do addition and subtraction on the spot. Therefore, it is essential to prepare them for this situation.
Let’s explore what basic concepts make up numeracy in maths, how they impact problem-solving and how you can improve maths skills at home.
What is Numeracy?
Numeracy is the skill of understanding and working with numbers. This includes understanding the rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, knowing the rules of BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction) and working with fractions and decimals.
Possessing strong numerical skills and an understanding of these areas of maths is essential in school life and future careers.
Why Are Numeracy Skills Important?
One of the main transferrable skills that maths teaches is problem-solving. Having basic numeracy skills gives them the ability to tackle maths problems and develop these essential critical thinking skills. Having good problem-solving ability will prove a huge asset to your child during their studies and eventual working life.
Adults with poor numeracy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed than those who enjoy some competency in numeracy. Those adults with at least basic numeracy skills can expect to earn a quarter more than those who lack the necessary skills to solve basic mathematical problems. Therefore, if your child may never be a maths genius, they should still work on practising maths and numeracy.
Excelling in maths and problem solving gives people an advantage in the working world but it also translates to real life. For example, Those with poor numeracy skills are less likely to be able to save money on day-to-day affairs, like a visit to the supermarket. Here are some other day to day examples:
- Counting quantities for a customer or working out your change.
- The use of percentages and subtraction when applying a discount.
- Using division when calculating costs per head.
- Measuring the area of living spaces.
- Calculating fuel consumption.
Tips to Improve Numeracy at Home
There are ways you can make practising maths and numeracy outside of school both fun and effective. Here are a few maths games and maths exercises you can carry out with your child.
Take Them to the Supermarket
As mentioned before, numeracy can help you save money at the shop. Therefore you should involve your child in these everyday maths examples.
If you spot a 50% off deal, ask your child to tell you what the original price would have been. Do you need 12 eggs? Ask your child how many boxes of six you will have to buy achieve this. If you are buying fruit for the week and every member of the family has one apple a day, how many apples will you need to by to have enough to last until Saturday?
It is key in this situation to keep the maths relatively simple, otherwise, you risk putting your child off playing the game and losing their interest.
Get Them Involved in Cooking and Baking
A really easy way to improve your child’s mathematics skills is by encouraging them to help you with cooking and baking. Let your child weigh out the ingredients, decide on which containers to use and set the timer on the oven.
Get them involved in reading the instructions, following recipes, weighing and measuring out ingredients. This will enable them to become familiar with quantities, fractions, temperatures and cooking units.
Play Games and Puzzles
Games and puzzles are a great way to improve problem-solving in general. As games are huge in variety and scope, they can be tailored to suit whatever your child’s learning style is. There are a huge number of free online games or puzzles to find with a simple google but if you are looking to lessen your child’s screen time, here are a few examples.
There are numeracy based puzzles in newspapers or magazines, do them with your child to encourage them to develop an affinity with numbers. Video games are the first thing that probably comes to mind but board games can be a great source of fun maths. These games include Monopoly, Blackjack, Rummy, and numerous others have a mathematic element.
Support Them With Maths Tutors
Supporting your child with maths can be a time-consuming task. With longer working days, you may find yourself with less chance at having quality time with your child. Therefore, our maths tutors in Birmingham can help you support your child’s numeracy development while allowing you to have more downtime together.
As your classes are led by currently employed teachers in small group sessions, you’ll be sure your child gets the latest teachings as well as chances to work together with their peers. Group learning can help solidify everything they learn.
How Achieving Success Can Support You
Ultimately, the most tried and tested way of improving your child;’s numeracy skills is simply by doing more maths. Practice does make perfect when it comes to numbers, but encouraging your child to recognise calculations and mathematical principles in their everyday lives are going to encourage them to build up an awareness of maths and realise its importance.
However, we understand that doing maths at home with your child isn’t always how you want to spend time together. This is why our tuition centres are the perfect place for your child to continue practising maths outside of school. With English and maths tutors available who can support from GCSE tuition to 11 Plus Tuition, we ensure your child is prepared for school and life.