Many of us may think that we are not a number’s people. But whether we like it or not, numbers play a big part in all our lives. Numeracy Day is about recognizing the importance of numbers and numeracy and encouraging people to sharpen their skills and build their confidence with numbers. Being smarter with numbers isn’t a special talent, it’s something we can all learn!
The History of Numeracy Day
The aim of Numeracy Day is to celebrate numbers and how we use them in everyday life. The day is designed to encourage people to feel curious about numbers, explore how they can benefit them in their day to day life, and give them the confidence to develop and improve their numeracy skills. Numeracy Day brings together individuals, employers, educators, and supporters from across the UK, helping people to improve their own numerical skills as well as that of their children, colleagues, or students. The first-ever Numeracy Day took place on the 16th of May in 2018 and the day was a huge success. More than 25,000 people of all ages took part and started their journey towards improving their numeracy.
Why is Numeracy Day important?
Mathematics can be found in all aspects of our daily lives. We use it at school, at work, and in practical activities at home and in wider society. Whether we’re paying for a bus ticket, working out our tax, planning a holiday, or thinking of taking out a mortgage, maths will always be involved. Because numeracy is so intrinsically linked with our daily lives there is strong evidence to suggest that poor numerical skills can contribute to poor outcomes, such as earning a lower income, unemployment, and debt. Even the status of our physical and mental health can be linked to our proficiency with numbers.
Here are some stats about numeracy:
- Nearly half of people at work have the numeracy skill of a young child
- Research has proven that having good numeracy skill can help people to stay out of money problems
- Poor numeracy skill not only affects the person but also the wider economy
Although this may all seem a little depressing, the good news is that numeracy is a skill that anyone can learn, and so although you may feel like you lack numerical skill now, there’s always something that you can do about it. However you feel about maths, there are always exercises, online tests, and things that you can do about it, and Numeracy Day is here to help.
The benefits of brushing up on numeracy
Just because you’re getting by as you are, doesn’t mean that you couldn’t benefit from brushing up on your numeracy skills. Numeracy can help you with so many different tasks from helping you to get the best deals at the supermarket, to ensure that you don’t get ripped off by a loan provider. Even at home, simple fractions or conversions lessons could help you cook from international recipes converting cups to grams, and learning how to do basic addition, subtraction, and division with just a pen and paper or even better in your head could help to get you out of a pickle at times when you lack a calculator. At work, better numeracy could help to improve your accuracy and productivity and if you are a parent of children at school then brushing up on your skills will better prepare you for helping them with their homework.
Ways that you could improve your numeracy
Convinced that brushing up on your numeracy is a good idea? That’s great! Thanks to the internet there are now countless ways to improve your skills without needing to leave your home. You can download numeracy skill apps and brain training games directly onto your smartphone and can play with them on your commute to work or lunch break. If you prefer more structured lessons, then there are hundreds of fantastic and free videos available on video streaming sites such as YouTube. And of course, don’t forget to also check out the Numeracy Day challenge and the activities available on the Numeracy Day website.