STAY POSITIVE – FACE BEHIND THE BUSINESS, THE MATHS MUM
Posted by Devenia Besant on 06 Jul 2020
⭐️ Tell us a bit about you and your business?
I’m Karen aka The Maths Mum® and before lockdown I was teaching parents all about how maths is taught in schools today. Helping parents to help their children. I was running physical courses from my home so, when lockdown happened, all possible forms of revenue that I had in place disappeared. However, since The Maths Mum® is still in the start up phase all my revenue is going back into the company, so I’m used to not having a salary. I am lucky that my other half is able to and continues to work from home.
⭐️ What changed for your business since the outbreak of Covid-19?
When lockdown was looming back in March, I realised that parents teaching maths to primary aged children at home was going to be challenge. Most households have an abundance of books to read but do they have Dienes, Numicon, Place Value Mats, Number Lines and Cuisenaire Rods readily available to help with maths understanding? No, they don’t and that is what inspired me to create the “Make your own maths aids” resource, publish it for FREE with an accompanying video explain what all the tools are and how they are used.
In the last fourteen weeks, I have juggled being a mum, teacher, chef, cleaner and referee for three boys (aged 6, 8 with Downs syndrome and 10) during the day whilst creating free maths resources and videos for parents in the early mornings and evenings. They are always produced from a parent’s perspective, explaining how things are taught today, topic-based booklets that show you how to work up to and ahead, and, most importantly, they are not single page downloads! The amount of time I have wasted on a Sunday evening downloading work page by page inspired me to write the Complete Times Tables Testing Pack. It is 50 pages in one pdf – download, print, finished – and to quote my personal favourite, Maui, “you’re welcome!”
Now that the end of the school year is looming, I understand that parents want to know how their child is doing academically but who will be writing the school report this year!? How do you know what your child should and shouldn’t know? This is exactly why I have written the End of Year Maths Reviews and Assessments – one for each academic year in primary school. They provide a comprehensive way to check what your child knows and doesn’t know against government guidelines in a one, easy to download pdf. They are also a way to help parents focus on which topics they will need to brush up on to help their children!
⭐️ What are you looking forward to now restrictions are lifting?
I never quite realised how much I need silence and I know I am looking forward to having the house to myself for 6 hours whilst the kids are at school. I am also looking forward to how productive I can be when I get 6 hours straight working… now that I know how much I can actually do in 1 hour without distraction!! And also getting back to seeing people face to face rather than via a video call. I am also keen to get back to a project that I had just kicked off when lockdown hit… “Maths for life… not for GCSE”… developing an alternative curriculum paths for children with learning difficulties that focuses on the skills they need for life and not to pass a GCSE. And also getting my new brochure for schools, that arrived the week before lockdown down, into the post!
⭐️ Lastly what’s your positive message to help others?
I remembering watching the film “Pay it forward” in 2001 and being inspired by Trevor’s concept, pay the good deed forward. Lockdown for me has been full of pay it forwards… shopping for neighbours, donations to food banks, sharing of yeast, texting out when there are Tesco delivery slots available and more. And I’ve been in receipt of too many to mention! I’ve also paid it forward with The Maths Mum® and provided lots of videos, resources and Zoom calls free of charge. It has been important to me to live up to my vision of “Helping parents help their children”. I hope that people remember the small brands / start ups that helped during this time when things get back to ’normal’.