Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Maths Musings

I have always enjoyed maths myself and imagined my children would be the same. My husband, however would describe himself as a bit of a maths dyslexic, and it seems some of my children have inherited his maths genes and not mine! I have experimented with different approaches to try and engage the children in maths, starting with maths games and challenges when they were younger,
visual demonstrations,
 data handling activites 

and introducing some workbooks such as Schofield and Sims as they got a bit older


 and then giving up on maths altogether and waiting till they were a bit older and trying again!

We then got an iPad and tried a few good maths resources on it. This interactive approach definitely helped engage the children in this subject.

But to be honest, using lots of different maths resources left me feeling all over the place and not sure in what direction we were going and how to build systematically on what the children already knew. It was stressing me out and I didn't know which way to go next. I decided that I needed a solid curriculum, so I could make sure everything was covered and so I could then supplement it with additional games/activities/iPad where needed. The question was which one to choose? I had ruled out an American curriculum, because of the differences with money and measurements. The ones that we had already tried were Schofield and Sims, which I found confusing as there were so many different books, and Mousematics  which I did like initially but became too costly and time consuming as it had to be printed off from disc. These also lack colour. We had a short try of MEP maths, but it was far too academic and the pages were dreary to look at, which did not engage my already disinterested children.  I spent a lot of time asking different people their advice and my mum gave me the best suggestion, one that I had never thought of - Heinemann maths, the same maths curriculum I had used at school as a child! I didn't realise it was still in print, but I have managed to buy the workbooks from Amazon at a reasonable price and I have located some textbooks second hand.

A page from Year 1 Maths
A page from year 2 Maths
Year 2 Maths
 The pages are colourful and fun, and there is a lot of repetition and reinforcement. And guess what? The children are enjoying it and making notable improvement. I love it so much, I have purchased enough workbooks for all five of my children to complete primary level maths, just in case it goes out of print!


  1. I remember Heinemann maths. It does look fun. Not a curriculum but a fun game that has helped my younger two is Sum Swamp. We bought it for one of them for Christmas and they have played and played this.

  2. Mums are definitely the best people to consult. I think maths like that might even get me interested :) So glad you were able to find them.

  3. Looks like great stuff. I love the hands-on maths, we use a lot of that here. We have a big tub of two pences for maths (you need a lot to explore multiplication). The boys also prefer to do sums on the whiteboard, it makes them less worried about mistakes.

  4. These look like fun which is marvellous. We use games and blocks whenever we can but these workbooks do look good.
    Thanks for linking up #homeedlinkuo