All parents worry about silly mistakes – particularly in maths. Here is what you do to fix them:
Is it a silly mistake? Silly mistakes are simple mis-reads or small number errors. If you have to remind the child of a method, it is not a silly mistake but a lack of practice. Go back to the subject-based text books at this point, and leave exam papers or tests until your child is better prepared. The WHSmith Challenge Maths books are great for this.
Tally up their test errors. When your child does a maths test at home, or brings one home from school. Count up the mistakes into 4 different categories. How many sillies? How many easy-fixes? How many were too tricky? How many referenced new information (content not covered)?…I shorten this to a tally chart with S, EF, T and NI as my four headings. This will show your child how many marks are being lost on silly mistakes.
Mark papers page by page. Next test paper, approach it page by page. If there are 5 questions on the first page, give your child 5 minutes to solve them and then stop. Mark them together and any silly mistakes will show up straight away. Then go on to the next page. Mark it and continue.
When test papers are broken down they become more manageable. Anything that shows up on page 1, feeds into performance on page 2.
This is a wonderful exercise to use for 11+ preparation, school maths exams and even GCSEs.