What do I do if my child keeps getting things wrong?

Well! Anne has a favourite saying when it comes to learning and maths. ‘Mistakes are our friends.’ This always makes children laugh, as they are used to maths being all about getting it right!

Anne and I believe that making mistakes is an important part of learning maths.  It may seem odd but in making mistakes it means that your child is ‘having a go’. Without the confidence to have a go, very little learning takes place.

With you beside him/her, your child is in a great position to give it a go. You can foster an environment where thinking for him/herself and having a go are valued.

Learning from our mistakes means that together you can unpick where your child went wrong and work out an alternative way to tackle the problem or question.

It’s very tempting just to give your child the right answer and sometimes that might be the right thing to do. On the whole though, more learning takes place if your child, along with your support, works it out for him/herself.

So the answer to the question above is: celebrate the effort your child has put in to finding a solution; unpick the reasons for the wrong answers together and use your findings to ‘have another go’.

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Anne and Pam are friends and colleagues with an obsession for improving maths attainment through raising self-esteem.

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