Nobody doubts the fact anymore that there is a crisis with South African learners’ bad performance in Mathematics. There are however a lot parents can do from an early stage to ensure that their children succeed. Solidarity Helping Hand’s School support centrum (SOS) has the following tips for parents with children in the lower primary school grades.
According to a study done in 2008 by Naledi Pandor, it was determined that Grade 3 learners achieve an average of 36% for literacy and 35% for numeracy skills. This is clearly indicative of Mathematics problems manifesting at an early age.
According to Hugo Vermeulen of the SOS, parents are sometimes hesitant to help their children because they are not confident about their own Mathematic skills. “The most important thing is that children must have fun. When children associate Mathematics outside the classroom with fun they will also have a positive experience of the subject inside the classroom.”
Here are a few games to consider:
The “Count On” game aims to teach children that they should start at the biggest number when they do addition. For example, ask the child to calculate 4 + 2. He/she must then hold up four fingers of the one hand and then two of the other hand. The child must then count to four and then to six.
One of the most important numeracy skills is to remember Mathematical facts quickly and accurately. The simple fact that one number comes after the other is an important factor in the child’s success. Let the child count to ten and then backwards from ten to one.
Let your child deal ordinary playing cards to a number of “players”. The repetition teaches children to count accurately without using their fingers of paper.
Throw a dice and let your child count out the number on the dice. You can later on use two dices if it becomes easy to count to six.
Hide and count
Use a known number of coins and keep a few in your hand to hide them. Place the other coins on the table. Your child must then count how many he sees and how many you have hidden in your hand.
The guessing game
Write a number between 1 and 100 on a paper and hide it. Your child must guess what the number is. When he guesses, guide him with the words “more” or “less”.
Write down the numbers 1-12 on a piece of paper, one for you and one for your child. Take turns to throw the dices and cross out the number of the dices on the paper. The first one to cross out all 12 numbers wins. This teaches your child how to count to 12 and to recognise numbers.
The SOS was founded in 2012 and the organisation believes that poverty can be conquered by investing in training and education. It starts when the Grade 1 learner learns to do sums. The association already has more than 1 000 members and offers subject support to Afrikaans Mathematics teachers or any person with an interest in Mathematics.
For more information on this association, please contact Hugo Vermeulen at 012 644 4390 or send an email to [email protected].