Through 20 years as a maths and physics tutor, Julie Davies has seen parents struggle with having the confidence to support their children in learning maths.
“I’ve talked to a lot of adults about maths over the years and I’ve found a lot of people have this really emotional reaction to it,” she said.
“When I dig deeper, I’ve found a lot of people have got to a point in school where they didn’t understand what was going on.”
In response, Ms Davies is running a new one-day workshop in Bega to help parents or carers support their children’s maths education, whether they are in preschool, primary or high school.
“It’s about helping parents change their own attitudes towards maths and then that flows on to their kids,” Ms Davies, director of Mandala Maths, said.
“If parents can improve their own confidence, they can pass that confidence on to their kids as well.”
Ms Davies said it was a foundational subject, so if you did not have the foundations covered it was hard to build on it. That threw people’s confidence.
Maths was “almost like a whole other way of thinking and problem solving”, she said.
Learning maths at a basic level meant you obtained a problem-solving tool, which you could apply to other problems.
“If you can help your kids to learn something they find difficult, they can apply that to other things,” Ms Davies said.
“Just because something’s hard, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn it.”
The focus of the workshop is on creating a mindset that encourages learning.
This mindset is used to (re)learn some foundational maths skills and apply them to practical problem solving, using methods substantiated by neuroscience research.
How to best support your young students will be covered, as well as examples of games, puzzles and resources that you can use at home.
“I’ve created this workshop as a response to what I am seeing in the local community and in my tutoring practice where so many parents don’t feel confident to help their children and want a better maths experience for their children than they had,” Ms Davies said.
“There’s so many excellent teachers in our schools, but parents can either support or hinder learning, and this workshop provides some guidance about the best things to do and not do.”
Maths for Parents is on 21 January at The Funhouse in Bega from 10 am to 3 pm and costs $150.
Numbers are limited and registration is essential – contact Ms Davies on 0457 646 602 or [email protected].