Maths Kids

It's a home-led revolution - getting our kids "mathed-up". "It's never too early to actually start introducing very basic maths skills using apps." With Australian students' international ranking in Maths sinking to seventeenth out of sixty-five countries, leading education expert, Dr Catherine Attard of the University of Western Sydney says we need a radically different approach - and it starts early, in the home. "It's easy to help your kids learn maths, that's the message. We want parents to be able to talk to their children about mathematics and display positive attitudes. Most kids have a tablet at home or at school. This could be the answer to actually getting our maths levels up."

"Getting the idea of maths in a child's mind as early as you can. I started my son with maths apps when he was about eighteen months old. Counting windows in your house, how many walls you have in your house - as simple as things like that." For Katrina Gray and her two children, seven year old Alex and three year old Lucius maths is fun-learning. "Linking maths more with the outside world rather than just what's in a text book. It would be nice that would be able to learn it all at school, but there's only so much they can learn."

Research shows Maths ability in pre and primary school is a good indicator of child's future academic success. The sooner kids incorporate Maths into everyday home-life, the better their chances of being great mathematicians and enjoying it.

Dr Catherine Attard has named her top 10 Maths Apps. She says, with more kids using tablets, good Apps are ideal for drilling, problem solving AND teaching concepts. "There are some fantastic apps that help children practise and increase their fluency with mathematics and the home is the perfect opportunity to do that - we don't have time in the classroom to practise fluency."

Games are also a learning tool. "You can take playing cards; simple games like Snap with a mathematical twist of one more or one less are fantastic for young children. Dice games are great for number skills and so are simple things like Dominos."

Dr Catherine Attard, Maths Education Specialist says "The kitchen is full of maths. We can talk to children about weighing things and how heavy things are, we can teach them to read labels on packages, about length, volume and capacity."

Dr Attard has a blog and website housing resources for parents and teachers relating to maths education and 10 top iPad APPs: http://engagingmaths.co