11 Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math
Learn how to capitalize on your child's innate understanding of general math concepts and give her a head start.
Make It Count
Though they can’t always articulate them, children have a basic knowledge of mathematical concepts long before they begin kindergarten. Toddlers, for example, often sort objects as a form of play. Even before they have the vocabulary to describe what is going on, they can understand that one pile of blocks has more than another, or that Mommy is big and they are small. Older children can grasp the ideas of size, weight, number, and order.
Parents can help their children become ready to learn math when they enter school by introducing various activities and vocabulary into their daily lives. Here are some suggestions to help you along.
Use Math Talk
Use terms such as empty and full, big and small, light and heavy, tall and short, first and last, more and less, and all or none regularly. Also talk about groups, sets, and the names of various coins.
Count by Rote
Make an early start in teaching counting by rote, or in other words, having children learn numbers without understanding their value. Sing counting songs, do finger plays, or count objects around your house just for fun. This will help your child learn the names and sequence of numbers.
Teach Meaningful Counting
This learning involves, for example, understanding that the number two corresponds to two objects. Begin with small sets of two and three objects, and work your way up to larger numbers. In the beginning, have the child touch each object as he counts it. Later he will be able to count alone. Try putting clothespins into a large jar and counting as you drop them in, counting plates as you set the table, or counting toys that you are putting away in the toy box.
Introduce Rational Counting
This will help your child realize that when you stop counting a given number of objects, that number represents the amount of items in a set. Place objects in a line, and have the child touch and count each one. Then add another object to the row and have her count again.
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