From an idea:
Many of us face the tough juggling act of raising a family combined with holding down a job, housework, caring for relatives; before we’ve even thought about ourselves, our partners or that social life we are constantly rearranging. Guilt is something that all parents experience. It comes with the job. Guilt about whether we are feeding our children the right things, at the right time. Guilt about letting our children watch too much TV. Guilt about leaving them with a babysitter.
Then we add into the mix, our children’s education. We feel guilty about the schools that we do or don’t send them to, for forgetting to send their water bottles or P.E. bags in with them, the food in their lunchboxes, the dread of finding time for homework and so much more. In fact, not only finding the time for homework but the fear that we might not actually be able to help them with it.
Parents play a crucial role in supporting their child’s learning, and levels of parental engagement are consistently associated with better academic outcomes. I believe there is a HUGE untapped potential for parents to make a real difference!
The Guardian recently conducted some research which showed five out of six parents struggle to help their pre-adolescent children with their homework and almost a fifth of parents – 19% – said being unable to help with their child’s homework made them feel embarrassed. And who can blame them? As parents, we feel like the goal posts are constantly moving, the methods being taught today are different to the ones we learned growing up and if we do have time to look at the National Curriculum, the statements seem full of jargon – cryptic at best.
This is how I found myself in a strange position. Being an experienced primary school teacher has allowed me the privilege of having many conversations with confused and genuinely worried parents wanting the best for their children and desperate to help at home whilst juggling life in the 21st Century. I had a clear vision of what was required of their children’s academic progress for the year but they did not.
How is it fair that I know about what my own children are learning in their year group but most other parents do not? I felt like I had some sort of unfair advantage and wanted to desperately change this. After all, we are all in this overwhelming and sometimes surreal world of parenthood together. I am just a mum who happens to be a teacher.
That is why I set up this blog. I wanted to give parents and carers an insight into what is expected of their children at each stage of their primary school education. Information that is user friendly and easily read on the way to and from work or whilst frantically eating chocolate behind the kitchen door.
So here I am, sitting on my living room floor with a cup of tea, tapping away whilst my children are asleep in their beds.
Maths is a core school subject and numeracy is linked to life chances1. Our economy and society need mathematically literate people. Yet negative attitudes to maths prevail in the UK, from ‘I can’t do maths’ as an (imitated and inherited) facet of identity to mathematically disabling ‘maths anxiety’2.
We want everyone to feel positive about maths – to feel that it is something they can do, and enjoy
To make maths a creative, enjoyable, human, social activity for families and communities
People taking part in our activities will …
- Enjoy doing maths together, and be aware it is maths they are enjoying
- Be supportive of others’ mathematical learning
- Have positive, shared family memories of mathematics
- Broaden their view of what maths is
- Engage in mathematical activities, showing concentration, play, and perseverance
- Increase their enthusiasm for maths, reduce any fear of it – and do more, afterwards
- Increase their confidence in maths – seeing it as something they can do
Carpentieri, J.D., Litster, J., and Frumkin, L. (2009) Adult Numeracy: A Review of Research. NRDC.
National Numeracy (2015) Attitudes towards maths – Research and approach overview. Retrieved from www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk, January 2017.
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