How to support your child through Year 7 Maths

We know high school mathematics can be a daunting leap from primary school. That's why we have written you this guide to develop your child's confidence and foster a lasting passion for mathematics.

18 days ago   •   5 min read

By KIS Academics
Photo by Greg Rosenke / Unsplash

An introduction to the curriculum

As part of year 7 maths, your child will be taught to;

  • Have a sense of mental maths and arithmetics - prime numbers, sequences using decimals, fractions, powers, roots and BODMAS.
  • Recognise and use variables to solve linear equation problems using algebra.
  • Solve problems involving decimals, fractions and percentages and converting between the different number systems.
  • Find perimeters, areas and volumes of 2D and 2D shapes.
  • Understand and solve problems involving ratios.
  • Investigate geometry and measurement by analysing, drawing and solving problems with 2D and 3D shapes and angles (quadrilaterals, right angles, Pythagoras theorem etc.)
  • Understand the concept of probability and solve problems using frequency tables, grids and Venn diagrams.

By the end of year 7 your child should be able to;

Solve problems using their growing understanding of numbers, algebra, space, probability, geometry, measurement and statistics. They will also have an understanding of how maths can be used to solve real-world problems.

This is only a general guide as to what your child may learn. It is important to speak to their teacher for a detailed course outline as it will differ between schools.

Growing a love for maths

Learning is not limited to just inside the classroom. Parental impact makes a huge difference to your child's educational trajectory.

Your attitude to maths will influence how your teenager approaches the subject, so even if you dislike maths yourself, don't let them know that. Instead, try the following tactics to make mathematics seem more relevant and enjoyable to your child.

  • Take the opportunity to point out ways that maths helps us out in everyday life - such as coding for computers, taking the right dose of medicine, tracking the number of steps taken on your Fitbit, and keeping track of finances.
  • Engage in entertainment content that explores the wonders of maths. For example, movies such as  'Apollo 13' and 'Hidden Figures' show the importance of maths in helping astronauts get to the moon. You can also watch documentaries with them about inspiring mathematicians such as Einstein, Hypatia or Alan Turing and discover how they changed the world.
  • Involve your child in financial activities at an early age. Get them to budget their weekly expenses and ensure they have a bank account that accrues interest. Encourage them to check the calculations against their bank statements.
  • Most importantly, talk to them about what they are studying in school every week. Listening to them and their experiences will allow you to best support them in their journey. If they are struggling with particular areas of question types, work out where they are getting stuck and use online resources to tackle them together.

Homework Do's and Don'ts

It is common at this age for a child to push back against adult figures such as teachers and parents, especially with homework. You want to ensure that homework does not become a chore and that they aren't scared of asking you for help.

Do's

  • Praise any effort and attempt they make towards learning despite the result. Even if they get the answer wrong, compliment them on something they did get right, even if it's small. When learning maths in the early stages, confidence is key.
  • Encourage them to think out loud if they do homework with you. That way you can easily pinpoint the root of the problem if they make a mistake.
  • Always ask them to explain how they arrived at a solution or the method they tried taking before explaining yours. Ensure they are given a voice and not mindlessly following what you are saying.
  • If they don't seem to engage with you consider looking for outside help such as with a tutor they do respond to.
  • Take consistent breaks when doing homework.

Don'ts

  • Ridicule their efforts or call them names.
  • Do the homework for them. Always encourage them to give it their best attempt before stepping in.
  • Say what they are doing is easy. It will make them feel lesser than when they aren't able to solve the questions.
  • Compare them to their peers. It will cause resentment both with you and the subject.
  • Be closed off to their methods. Even if it is the longer way, allow them to become comfortable with their methods first before introducing shortcuts.

Remember, it is easy to get swept away in our emotions and become frustrated at each other. Ensure you are taking breaks and always try to see things from their perspective.

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Resources

For weekends and school holidays

  • Play board games or card games that use strategic thinking to develop their analytical problem-solving skills.
  • Get them to plan and budget for a day trip or holiday. Research the best hotels, transport and activities in terms of costs and collate information down in tables.
  • Engage the family in math riddles. Celebrate logical and innovative explanations rather than speed.
  • Bring them along grocery shopping and get them to keep a running tab of all the items you put in the trolly.
  • When shopping talk about the sales - ask your child the price of this item if it is 50% off, which item would be the best value based on its price conversion.

Year 7 mathematics is based on growing the student's confidence in handling numbers and simple equations. Encouraging them to engage with maths in their day-to-day life will make them well-equipped to tackle more complex problems in the classroom.

Remember, the way your child is learning mathematics may be different to your own experiences. Ask questions about their schooling. Get them to show you how they have been taught to do things and support them in their learning.


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