This was published in the Sheffield Star on 10th October
Hats off to Bea Marshall who is educating her children at home. (Education on the Home Front 8.10.12). People of all ages learn best when they are enjoying themselves and unfortunately school is sometimes not a happy place for some children.
Home educators need to help their children experience and investigate subjects they may not be very confident with themselves.It is certainly true that lots of maths can be taught by using practical activities like baking, playing with lego, going on a trip (planning the journey etc.) . Bea and other Home Educators will find lots of helpful resources on my website, www.mathswithgraham.org.uk. There are jigsaws, interactive puzzles and quizzes, videos and games that make maths fun and show where it is applied in every day life.
One thing many children learn at school is that they can’t do maths! This is usually far more to do with the large number of children in the class and the differing speeds of development of the children than a persons ability at maths. But once they have been put off it is incredibly difficult for them to regain confidence and be successful. Schools should be moving towards much smaller class sizes to ensure all our children reach their full potential and do not lose their natural instinct to find out about the world.