How well your child completes maths calculations determines their maths proficiency. Maths is often perceived as a challenging subject for children. So, what’s the key to ensuring they excel in maths without difficulty? Tash from Eye Level Randwick answers some FAQs. 

  1. Why is it important to be good at basic maths calculations?

The foundation of advanced maths is the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. High school maths like Algebra, Equations, and Calculus are the four basic operations applied to a series of Maths rules and concepts. Maths is about following rules, so being good at calculations is necessary. If you can calculate well, you can handle basic maths easily, understand fractions, and even tackle more advanced stuff like algebra and function. But if you struggle with calculations, everything else in maths becomes tough, too.

  1. What’s the difference between children who do well in maths and those who don’t? 

From what I’ve seen, confidence in maths comes from being accurate and quick with calculations. Children who can’t keep up with the class or don’t like maths usually struggle with calculations. The most challenging time is generally around year 3 or 4. If they find calculations hard, they often give up on maths altogether.

  1. When’s the best time to learn how to do math calculations?

Around age 6-7 is a good time to develop that confidence and interest in numbers. Once children understand the basics of numbers, they can start learning how to calculate. If they begin practising calculations early on, they’ll find it easier to keep up with maths later in primary school.

  1. Can getting better at calculations make children more confident in math?

Definitely! I have many students in years 4 and 5 who struggled with basic addition when they started. But after four months of focused practice, they could do two-digit multiplication! At first, they lacked confidence and would become upset when they made mistakes. Soon, they proudly say that maths is now their favourite subject and are doing well in class. Now, they’re open to asking questions and are interested in the higher maths topics. That’s the power of practice!

  1. How long does it take to get good at calculations?

Although it varies for each child, six months of regular practice is usually enough. It might seem like a long time, but building a solid foundation in calculations is essential. Once children get the hang of it, they’ll start learning faster and feel more confident. From here, they can tackle higher maths and apply it to problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

  1. Any tips for parents to help their children with calculations?

I always tell parents that maths is like a marathon, not a sprint. Encourage your children to practice a little every day, even if it’s just a few problems. And don’t worry too much about them getting every problem right at first. The important thing is to build their confidence and keep them practising regularly and consistently. Once proficient in the four basic operations, they can move into the maths applications, including problem-solving.

After being proficient in calculating the four basic operations, a student can then move on to the application of maths, where they begin learning different rules, e.g. the order of operations, finding areas of various shapes, algebra and so on. Do you want your child to establish a strong math foundation? First, help them improve their calculation skills. 

Eye Level Maths will aid your child in constructing a solid foundation through a structured programme that covers basic arithmetic to advanced mathematical concepts and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This is why we say, “We nurture problem solvers, critical thinkers and lifelong learners.”

Throughout May 2024, Eye Level Randwick has a 50% off promotion available to all new families. For more details, register here: www.eyelevellearning.com.au/nsw/randwick-tutoring/