People who don’t think they can do maths tend to have gaps in their basic knowledge. So here is our introduction to addition, beginning with the absolute basics:

Step one

Speed practice of ways to make 10…

1 + 9

2 + 8

3 + 7

4 + 6

5 + 5

The best way is to shout these out in the car. ‘What goes with 7?’ and encourage your child to get faster and faster.

 CLICK HERE  for a great, free online game. Bookmark it on your screen for your child to click on and play.

Step two

Think about other one-digit numbers, and how many different ways they can be made…


1 + 6

2 + 5

3 + 4

These skills need to be fast and confident. They are not tricky, you just need to remember them when you have a bit of waiting time in your day together.


Step three

Only begin this when the above skills are secured. This is the more tricky type of mental addition and it is so important that your child can do it. Without these skills all sorts of other maths work goes wrong. Multiplication involves carrying tens and adding them into the sum, perimeters are calculated through this sort of addition and money calculations crop up in exams all the time. Here it is:


How do I add 7 + 8?

First ask what a 7 needs to make the next full 10. It needs a 3.

An 8 is made up of 3 + 5.

So the 3 will make 10 and 5 more makes 15.

And that’s it!


CLICK HERE for the link to the video on our youtube site.

CLICK HERE for a worksheet to go with it.

CLICK HERE for the answers to the worksheet.