Early math skills are critical to a child’s future academic success. However, the average preschool only spends about a minute a day focused on math concepts. Parents must do their part to encourage math fluency at home. Discover some of the strategies you can use to instill early math skills in your child.
Don't Underestimate Their Abilities
Toddlers deserve a lot more credit than they receive. Your child may not be able to tell you that there are four blocks in one pile and two blocks in the other stack. Yet, many young children possess the critical thinking skills to recognize that one group has more than the other.
Comparing and contrasting are fundamental math skills. Toddlers are often well equipped for basic math concept exploration, for this reason. However, around age 4, children are usually ready for more complex concepts, such as addition.
Teach Logic, Not Memorization
Math is not a memorization skill. Sure, your child will need to somewhat rely on their memory to retain what they learn. However, memory without number sense and logic is meaningless. Focus on math processes. For example, don’t just teach your child to count in a call and response type of fashion.
Instead, make sure your child also knows that two is more than one or that four is less than five. Without true number sense, your child will have a hard time understanding more advanced math concepts. The abacus program from Math Genie portrays numbers in a logical fashion that encourages an intuitive understanding of number relationships.
Set Individual Benchmarks
Never expect your child to learn at the same pace as someone else. If you have more than one child, you know that they both didn’t start to walk or talk at the same age. You also should not expect that they will learn at the same pace.
Placing unfair requirements on a child may hurt their confidence and make the teaching process incredibly frustrating for you. Track your child's progress closely. Only move forward when you are confident that they have mastered the concept; there is no need to rush. At Math Genie, lessons are tailored based on the child’s individual need.
Include Hands-On Lessons
Toddlers are kinesthetic learners. Children stay engaged when they can participate through sight and sound, but more importantly, through touch. Make math learning an interactive experience to keep your child excited. Using toys as learning tools is a great way to accomplish this goal.
Consider a toy pizza with removal slices, for instance. As you count, your child can remove a slice from the pizza. Once you move on to basic addition and subtraction, you can even use the slices to model equations. With the abacus program from Math Genie, your child has a multi-sensory experience that brings math to life.
Your child is already equipped with the skills they need to learn math, but it's your job to activate these skills. Keep the lessons fun and remain consistent to put your child on the path to math success.