Supporting Learning from Home


How You Can Support Mathematics Learning in Your Home

In one form or another, mathematics features in our daily lives. Because of this, mathematics is an essential skill to feel comfortable and confident to use mathematics whether it be at in life at home, at work, or for participation in the community.

You might currently have a student at home that is studying a mathematics that you are not familiar with. This does not mean that you cannot offer the same level of support in comparison to any other subject!

Studies show that one of the biggest influences on a positive mathematics learning experience is the mindset of how we approach the subject, rather than the subject itself. If we do not feel comfortable about the subject, we can say or do things that has a greater effect than we realise. Have you ever said anything like the following?

“I’m no good at maths.”

“I’m not the maths person, go and ask someone who is.”

Phrases like this can diminish the significance of not only mathematics, but may also be interpreted that trying when it comes to maths is pointless.

Alternatively, if we feel confident about what’s being studied, our words can still have a negative influence. Has this ever come up in your conversation?

“That’s easy, you should just be able to do it!”

“Let me just do that part for you.”

Whilst our goal is to be helpful and supportive, comments like these can actually lower the confidence of a student and their mathematical abilities.

Both these scenarios can lead to students wanting to avoid mathematics altogether, and avoidance can lead to an ongoing cycle of a lack of confidence in mathematics. You don’t have to pretend you know all the answers! Here are some important things to remember when working with your student in mathematics.

  • Approach mathematics with an open mind: “I don’t know how to do this yet either, but let’s see what we can learn together!”
  • Mistakes are not only okay, but good, as they demonstrate an attempt and learning: “Well done for giving it a try!”
  • Speed is not important; if it doesn’t make sense the first time, you can always try it again: “Let’s see what other resources can help with this problem.”

The mathematics team at St Aloysius College are dedicated staff members that are always willing to help support mathematics in your home. Always feel welcome to contact your student’s classroom teacher, or any members of the mathematics learning area teaching team for more information.

Hannah Herodotus, Mathematics Learning Leader and Numeracy Strategies Leader