Does Mathematics Multiply Your Stress Levels?

It’s well known that children do better with their education when their parents are supportive of their school and teachers. That’s why we do our best to help with homework. We help our kids with spelling, reading and lots of other homework but being asked to help with mathematics has many parents running from the room screaming or suddenly finding something else very important to do elsewhere.

“They didn’t do it that way in my day.”

We might be able to come up with the same answers as our kids but trying to follow the techniques they use seems almost impossible. On top of that, our children are likely to be using calculators or computers where all we had was a pencil, paper and a somewhat confused brain. So how do we help our children when we have no idea what they’re meant to be doing?

Dr Paul Swan began his career as a primary school teacher, then taught secondary mathematics and eventually ended up teaching at Edith Cowan University. He is the author and co-author of many books including the best selling Teaching Primary Mathematics. I was very pleased to have him as my guest this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM.

We talked about why there seems to be so much difference in the way we learn about mathematics to the way we learn about other course areas. We also discussed simple ideas to help parents incorporate maths learning into everyday life. A major emphasis for Paul is making sure that our already stressed lives aren’t further complicated by mathematics. His approach is simple, down to earth and effective. You can listen to our discussion by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

The WA Primary Principal’s Association is presenting Dr Paul Swan speaking about Supporting Your Children in Learning Mathematics this Wednesday night at the Burswood entertainment Complex. It’s a paid event with all profits supporting the Smart Future Foundation, a fully registered charitable entity that was established to give all children a fair go.


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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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