I read an article last week which stated that a recent @YouGov study found 52% of parents don’t feel confident in their times tables. Now obviously I take these surveys with a pinch of salt but it did make me think about the confidence of parents when it comes to supporting their children.
Throughout my years as a class teacher, I heard many parents say it was the maths homework that they struggled to help their children with, particularly when I taught in upper Key Stage 2. They were quite happy to hear their child read, or practise phonics and spellings with them, but they seemed to just leave maths to the school.
Unfortunately, with ever-decreasing budgets, it is becoming more important for parents to help support their children as schools just can’t afford the teaching assistants who would have been on hand to address gaps in understanding as they start to appear. Of course, teachers do an amazing job in juggling the mixed abilities of up to 30 (and sometimes more) children in a class, but the fact is that the maths curriculum is now so vast that there comes a point where they have to move on in order to cover everything expected.
With many parents keen to support at home, it can take a huge amount of time for a teacher to tailor home-learning activities to each child’s needs and then explain these activities to each parent. Even then, a set of written instructions can often be misinterpreted which in turn leads to more confusion for the child. Also, parents are unlikely to have the practical resources that schools have available and so this ends up with them jumping straight to an abstract explanation (skipping the concrete or pictorial representations) which again leaves the child no better off in terms of understanding than they were before.
Number Stacks was created to help empower parents to support their children by taking the job of explaining mathematical concepts away from them. All Key skills are explained in simple video tutorials which are designed to be watched by parents and children together. Activities are clearly demonstrated and the parent simply becomes a facilitator, helping their child imitate what they have just seen. What’s more, every activity in the videos uses the practical equipment included in the Number Stacks resource kit, meaning the children don’t miss the vital step of building and manipulating numbers physically so that they gain a better understanding of what’s actually happening to the numbers within a calculation.
Teachers can feel confident that children are being supported correctly without having to spend time creating and writing activities; parents can feel confident in helping their child whilst also learning the Key elements of the primary maths curriculum themselves at the same time; and most importantly, children get personalised attention to help them fill gaps in understanding that, if left untouched, will continue to hold them back in future year groups.
Everyone’s a winner!
Whether you’re a parent who wants to use Number Stacks at home with your child, or a school who wants to use it as an intervention in school or promote it for parents to use at home, visit our website or email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org