Raise a maths whizz

Bring up your child to be confident with numbers.

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If you think you’re rubbish at maths, make sure you don’t pass on your lack of confidence to your child.

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A study of children’s performances in maths tests at age 10 found that those who had a stimulating home environment in the early years scored 30% higher than those who hadn’t.

But it doesn’t mean you have to be setting your pre-schooler mental arithmetic tests and showing flashcards before breakfast.

‘What’s most important is one-to-one interaction,’ says Professor Edward Melhuish of Birkbeck, University of London, who led the research.

‘For a very young child, that’s simply talking and responding to her. Then when she starts to make words, add to those words, so if she  says ‘teddy’, you say, ‘yes, look at teddy.’

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‘Read to her. Play with shapes like building blocks. Talk to her about numbers, for example by pointing out how many things are in a group. Give lots of opportunities for learning.’

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