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And how a Davis programme can help you.

Why should it be that almost as soon as we start our formal education so many of us develop difficulties, and in some cases, almost amounting to a phobia, about working with numerals?

“Dyscalculia: a condition that affects the ability to acquire mathematical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.” (Department for Education and science, 2001).

Acalculia: cannot perform arithmetic at all.

So, how does dys/acalculia occur? Generally, up until the moment children start school, most are happily developing mathematical skills and awareness. Most master one to one correspondence as they begin to identify 'Self' as a separate individual and recognise the separateness of those around them. Spatial awareness also begins to develop. Children know where things belong and is confused if things are not in their proper place. Before children get to school, most will be able to draw a picture of a house with windows and doors in reasonable places, and a face with two eyes, one nose and one mouth. They can clearly recognise the quantity ‘two’. Mathematical development is progressing just as it should, increasing as the child makes more sense of the surroundings that orders their life.

Alongside this, a growing awareness of numerals develops. Numerals are all around us and, unlike letters, there are only 10 individual symbols that we used to represent numbers, so they crop up frequently. Numerals are the only symbols that represent quantity. Children will happily and often very proudly, recite numerals as far as they can go. This is not counting. Pre-school children are in an absorbent phase for language. Words hold a fascination for them. They recite nursery rhymes, repeat dialogue from screens and chant the alphabet and numerals - the last two, usually, with much encouragement from adults around them. This does no harm at all to the Child’s mathematical development.

Before introducing children to arithmetic, it is essential to be sure they recognise the links between the numerals (abstract), the quantity they represent and the sound we make when we speak about them. Children become ready for abstraction at different rates - some children take longer than others to come to an understanding of these concepts. If children are taught arithmetic before they have grasped it through experience, this lack of understanding can interfere with their ability to do even the arithmetic we consider simple. Failure affects self-esteem and can lead to phobia.

The best way to prevent dyscalculia is to keep your children away from full maths instruction until they are truly ready for it. Many children starting school are not ready to learn to do arithmetic with a pencil - abstract learning. This fact is at the root of the problems that can develop and our label dyscalculia. Put simply, this is why dyscalculia happens.

By the time the child has learnt to 'hate' maths and feels they ‘can't do it’ and are possibly on their way to creating a phobia, their parent or indeed they may feel it's too late and there's noting that can be done. They just 'hate' maths and 'can't do it.'

​So, how can a lack of understanding of maths be helped? By mastering the basic concepts, of which there are 11 and then understanding basic maths concepts using visual imagery and by experience, of which there are 12 exercises in a Davis Maths Mastery programme.

My job as a facilitator is to assist a client in in eliminating the causes of the blocks to their learning. A Davis Maths Mastery programme will help adults and children.

Call me on 07823471801 to see how I can help.

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