Literacy & Numeracy @ Home

Students with strong literacy and numeracy skills are more likely to remain at school longer, complete their Higher School Certificate and continue on to tertiary education. The basic skills of literacy and numeracy are vital components in the educational development of all students, both in the classroom and in life beyond school. These skills provide the necessary foundation upon which all other knowledge is grown. As such, the areas of literacy and numeracy are a priority for all members of the Barrenjoey Learning Community. As parents, there is a lot that you can do to help empower your children to be increasingly literate and numerate.

Tips for encouraging reading…

Students who spend time reading independently … tend to score higher on all subject area achievement texts.

Cullinan, B.E. (2000)

There is no doubt that reading is a valuable exercise but with the rise of technology the skill and the pleasure of reading is sadly being lost.

Here are some easy tips to help encourage your child to read.

Variety and choice

  • Let your child select the book
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms and styles (ibooks, audios, books of poetry, comics etc)
  • Ask the experts – talk to the shop assistant about what books are popular
  • Libby at Beachside Books and Margaret at Bookoccino’s are fantastic!images


  • It is difficult but it is important to find the time to read (it is best if this is also a no-technology period of time to avoid distractions)
  • 15 minutes of quiet reading before bed is a great way to relax

Building on their interests

  • Find books that relate to your child’s interest areas
  • Ask about series – if the first book is good, your child may be inspired to read the next
  • Suggest reading the book before seeing the film version at the cinema
  • Look at reviews and suggestions from sites such as goodreads
  • You can also visit the Barrenjoey Library to see our extensive range of books, magazines and reference material plus the latest additions which are frequently displayed in the front area.  Alternatively, click here to search the library catalogue, under word, subject, title, author or series.
  • click here to borrow ebooks and audiobooks


  • Read the same book so that you can have conversations with your kids and share the experience
  • Share your favourite childhood book with your son or daughter

Celebrate books

  • Don’t take away the fun
  • Don’t punish for not reading
  • Reward for reading
  • Being positive will help your child see the benefits and rewards of reading

Tips for Developing Numeracy…

Home numeracy practices and exposure to numerical content through quantitative activities are strongly related to students’ knowledge of number systems, arithmetic and overall acquisition of mathematics.

Skwarchuk, S.L. (2014)

Here are some easy tips to help promote numeracy at home.

Establish a regular after-school routine

Numeracy in Everyday Tasks

Provide opportunities for your child to use numeracy in hands-on, real-life scenarios including:

  • Converting time (24 hour to 12 hour, different time-zones)
  • Following recipes (Measurement of ingredients, conversion of units, upsizing/downsizing)
  • Shopping (Calculating change, best buys, discounts)
  • Earning money (Income, expenses, budgeting, tax, fees, interest)
  • Phone Plans (Comparing initial expenses, ongoing costs)
  • Travel (Estimating travel times, average speeds, petrol costs, navigation)

 Occupational uses of numeracy

Discuss the different numeracy requirements you experience at your occupation each day to highlight its importance and applications.  Examples include

  • Trades – Measurement, geometry, surface area, quotes and invoices
  • Business Managing  – Wages, profit and loss, tax, investment,
  • Finance – Statistics, algebraic modeling, predicting
  • Science/Research – Data, statistics, measurement
  • General – Managing money, DIY, measurementmeasuring-tape

Visual Aids

Display charts and diagrams around the house to increase exposure to essential numeracy skills.  Examples include

Celebrate Numbers

Explore the recreational side of numbers with your child through creative puzzles, videos and articles.