Maths primary school homework tips
Tips to help your child with primary school maths homework and support their learning at home.
Homework is a valuable connection between school and home.
Homework helps your child to revise, extend and practise what they’ve learned at school. It’s also an opportunity to develop independent problem-solving, time management and organisational skills outside of the school setting.
Each school in NSW has its own homework policy. Homework tasks are assigned by teachers depending on the students' age, ability and the current learning taking place at school.
How can I help my child with maths homework?
- Mathematicians take time to think about problems and ideas. Make sure you give your child thinking time. You might say: "Have a think about what this problem is asking you".
- Encourage your child to use the strategies they’ve learned. Ask: "Which strategy would you use to figure this out?" and "Can you show me how you did that?".
- Remind your child that they can also draw pictures and create models and use objects to solve problems.
- Praise your child’s effort and thinking rather than praising correct answers.
- Find a quiet place to work with your child away from distractions such as mobile phones, TV or other siblings. Setting these boundaries demonstrates the importance of homework.
- Stay positive. Saying "I was bad at maths too" can actually lower your child’s expectations of themselves. Instead try "We’ll get there" or "We can figure this out together".
- Incorporate maths into your everyday life such as making up problems and investigations, measuring when cooking, counting money, calculating the distance when walking, or the speed when driving in the car.
Things you can say to help your child
Think of your job like a sports coach – you don’t need to be the best player to become a really good coach. You can be a great coach for your child by listening carefully to your child’s thinking, asking questions (instead of telling) and encouraging them.
You might say things like:
- "Can you share your thinking with me?"
- "I like how you’re thinking about…"
- "I wonder if there are any patterns here…I wonder if they might be able to help us?"
- "Do you notice anything interesting about…"
- "What if we try working backwards?"
- "I wonder if we could think about this another way?"
- "I like how you came back to that idea and thought about it differently."
- "Let’s take a break for 5 minutes! Sometimes I need a brain break to give me some space to think."
For help understanding maths terms, visit Maths A to Z.
Supporting your child with their maths homework is a great way to encourage them and build their confidence. But don’t do their homework for them.
If you have any concerns about your child’s maths homework, speak to your child’s teacher. They'll have the best understanding of your child’s learning journey.
For more detailed information about the NSW maths curriculum, visit the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) website.