Parents Urged to Assist Children to Improve Performance in Mathematics

Regional Mathematics Co-ordinator, Mrs. Claudette Henry Harris, is asserting that children’s performance in mathematics will improve significantly, over time, if parents play a more active role in their lives.
“We believe that a partnership should exist between the school and the home. If parents really work with the teachers, then we should see marked improvements in our children’s numeracy skills. It doesn’t mean that at the onset, they are going to move from a 50 per cent to a 90 per cent, what it means is that you have them on the right track,” she said.
“As they become numerate and are able to use math as the tool that it really is, then no doubt their performance in the subject will also improve, incrementally in some instances, but we can look forward to improvements,” Mrs. Henry Harris said, at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’.
According to the Region 2 Co-ordinator, parents can easily assist their children, since many opportunities to practise math exist in the homes.
“The team [numeracy specialists] believe that parents may assist us in helping the children to see mathematics as more of an enjoyable subject and more of a way of life rather than fearing it as they do,” she said, adding that games in the homes, such as dominoes and cards, can help to teach math.
“We try to help parents see that while enjoying the games they can help the children to develop mathematical skills. We also try to help them to recognise how they may use these games to stimulate their children’s interest in mathematics. There are also team members [numeracy specialists] who have actually gone through content sessions with parents, because we recognise that a number of parents do not know mathematics themselves and so specialists have actually taken them through sessions, where they teach the concepts to the parents, so they are able to help their children at home,” Mrs. Henry Harris informed.
The Co-ordinator urged parents to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics.
“We have been trying to get the parents to recognise that even if they had challenges with mathematics while growing up, it is very important for them to recognise the usefulness of mathematics so as to help the children.because math is a tool for life,” she emphasised.
Some 57 numeracy specialists are working in 327 of the most critically mathematics performing primary schools islandwide.

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