When most people think of math, they think of numbers and of counting. True, those things are components of the study of mathematics, but there are so many other components as well. Early exposure to activities that encourage math skills is the best way to help your child be successful in the subject. There are many strategies that you can use to integrate math into everyday life, below are seven of those strategies.
1. Early exposure is key. As with reading, exposing young children to numbers, colors, shapes, counting and sorting helps with understanding and mastery of the subject.
2. Include math in everyday activities. Even something as seemingly mundane as a trip to the grocery store can be turned into a learning experience. Children as young as 2 or 3 can help identify items on the list; putting groceries away at home reinforces the concept of sorting.
3. Emphasis 1 to 1 correspondence. Simply being able to recite numbers to 100 does not indicate mathematical understanding. When counting with your child, be sure you are counting objects (1 to 1 correspondence) as well as reciting numbers (rote counting).
4. Grab “teachable moments”. Most learning in early childhood, and even into kindergarten, is indirect rather than direct. Pay attention; you will have many opportunities throughout your day to discuss math with your child.
5. Use “hands-on” learning. Most pre-schools and many kindergartens introduce math using “manipulatives,” small objects that students can use to sort, count, identify shapes and build.
6. Use music. Music is a wonderful tool when teaching math concepts. Not only can children memorize numbers and shapes using “learning” songs, but music is great for introducing counting.
7. Make math fun! There are so many learning board games, video games and other tools. When children have pleasant associations with math, they are more receptive to the subject.
Getting creative with math will get your child’s attention. Explain how you use math on a regular basis in the adult world.
by David McLeod
Owner School-Supply-List.com and Elementary School Teacher
David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.