Parents go back to school

Lilian Flores (left) is taught a maths game by her daughter, Sofia Yanez (10), at Musselburgh...
Lilian Flores (left) is taught a maths game by her daughter, Sofia Yanez (10), at Musselburgh School yesterday, while Beatrice Jones (rear), Conor Gorman (7), Penny Woods (9), Gemma Cleaver (9) and teacher Lauren Latimer play similar games during a parent education seminar at the school. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A growing number of queries from parents about how to support their children in learning basic numeracy has led Dunedin's Musselburgh School to hold a series of open-door classes for parents.

Musselburgh School numeracy lead teacher Lauren Latimer said numeracy was taught using different techniques to those used a decade ago and many parents were struggling to understand the new teaching style.

"A lot of parents try to help their kids with numeracy and the kids just say `but that's not how we do it at school'."

Miss Latimer said the new teaching style was designed to get children to think for themselves and to help them build strategies to solve problems.

The aim of the parents' sessions was to "demystify" how numeracy was taught in primary schools now and to provide parents with a range of activities and games which could be used at home to help children learn basic facts and consolidate their "number knowledge".

"Our families have always been proactive in supporting the learning of their children. We want to assist with this by sharing new ideas and re-energising some old favourites."

About 30 parents attended one of four sessions held at Musselburgh School yesterday.

A small group of pupils aided Miss Latimer in the sessions by demonstrating some of the numeracy techniques which had been used to teach them.

Parents were also given a guided tour of the school's new online Wikispace Mussellinks website, she said.

"With so many of our children accessing free online learning games at home, our Mussellinks Wikispace provides a one-stop spot for all learners and their families to access fun, exciting and good quality games and activities."


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