It is easy to help children of all ages develop early math skills. The first step is to have a positive attitude about math. Too often you’ll hear people say math is hard or I was never good at math so how can I expect my child to be good at it? Your attitude about math and just about anything is contagious. If you have a positive mind set about math, your child will likely follow.
Some schools or parents may say children must sit down with worksheets and flashcards to learn math. But that’s not the case. Math is all around us everyday. It’s not just counting in rout or recognizing numbers. It’s measuring, estimating, comparing, contrasting, and soooo much more. Here’s how you can encourage math skills at home to align with what we do at school.
How To Encourage Math Skills at Home
- Bake and cook just about anything. Have your child help with measuring, mixing, sorting, counting. We need two eggs 1, 2.
- When shopping, count the items you need. We need 5 oranges. Will you help me count them out? Look at all those bananas. How many do you think there are? That’s called estimating. Isn’t it interesting that oranges are orange but bananas are not called yellows? 🙂
- Count, sort, describe just about anything. Look for rocks of different sizes, colors and weights. Count them. Sort by size. Add some. Subtract some. Sort by color. Sort by weight – heavy/light.
- Count & sort toys such as Legos. How many legos can you hold in your hand? How many Red legos are there? Legos can be sorted by shape & color too. It is also fun to put the legos into a pattern like red, blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow.
- Counting with songs like 5 Little Ducks and 5 Little Monkeys while using hand gesture or props to demonstrate what your singing. Sing 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED! 4 little monkeys jumping on the bed…
See? Math is everywhere and we all can do it! It is important to teach children they can do things that may seem or even be difficult at first. Let them make mistakes. It’s ok to make mistakes and to try again. Remember to praise the good moments and praise the frustrating moments as well to encourage your child to keep trying and develop problem solving skills. Say things like, I can see your are trying real hard to figure this out! I know you can do it! Do this not only with math but all other aspects of life.
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