How to work out the range, mean and median to help your child with their homework

Keir Starmer says he ‘struggles with maths’ in homeschooling

At the start of the pandemic, 87 percent of parents said a child in their household had been homeschooled due to Covid-19, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But even for the most hands-on and tech-savvy parents, homeschooling can be a challenge. Exploring topics studied at school, which for most adults feels like centuries ago, can be difficult as you often forget what you learned as a youngster.

The range is the difference between the biggest and the smallest numbers in a sequence.

Children are often asked to calculate this as part of their maths homework.

To find the range, simply subtract the lowest number from the biggest number available to you.

For example, in the equation 100 – 3, the range equates to 97.

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How to work out the mean

The mean is the total of the numbers, divided by however many numbers there are.

To find the mean, you need to add all the numbers together then divide by the number of numbers there are.

For example, 6 + 3 + 100 + 3 + 13 = 125. 125 divided by 5 = 25.

So in this case, the range is 25. It’s worth noting, as well, that the mean will not always come out as one whole number.

How to work out the median

The median calculates the middle value of whichever sum your child has in front of them.

To find the median, you have to order the numbers and see which one comes up in the middle of the list.

For example, in the sequence: 3, 3, 6, 13, 100, the median is six as it’s in the middle.

If there are two middle values then the median is halfway between them, which means it may not always be a whole number.

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How to work out the mode

The mode is the number that appears most in the sequence.

In order to find and calculate the mode, you have to order the numbers lowest to highest and see which number appears most often.

For example, 3, 3, 6, 13, 100. In this number sequence the mode is three as it comes up the most.

In this case, the figure calculated should come out as a whole number most of the time.

How to work out ratio

A ratio shows how much of one thing there is compared to another, and are usually written in the form 1:2.

As an example, if you’re making orange squash and you mix one part squash to four parts water, then the ration of orange to water will be 1:4 (one to four).

The order in which a ratio is stated is very important, as changing the order will change the proportions.

Ratios can be further simplified if both numbers are divisible. For example, in a ratio of 12:18, this can be changed to 6:9.

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