Teaching Treasures™ Teaching Basic Maths

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Young children will grow to respect you more and more when you spend more time with them. There is a saying which declares that time is of the essence which is true when it comes to learning. Did you know that recent statistics point to the fact that most parents only spend an average of 10 to 30 minutes a day with their child? It is hardly enough in my estimation. Parents should be spending at least one hour or more a day. Not that long ago a parent used to spend just about all day with their children. Now only very few parents spend that amount of time with their child; especially here in Australia. Is it any wonder that more and more young people in our society have little respect for their parents? Real time seems to be lost.

You may ask what I mean with real time. Well…. taking the time to talk more with your child is a great start, reading stories, playing games with them inside or out, including them in the work that you do. I know that it may take a little longer to do those jobs to start with but when your children learn more they will become a better helper in the future. Make sure you take the time to explain to your children the what, when and why. When questions are asked, always try to answer them.

Don’t forget to make work fun and not a chore. I mean that you need to be motivated and happy when they are around you working, they will in turn want to be around you and believe me they will if you are happy. The more time you spend with your child the more you learn and the more they learn. Learning will become an exponential experience for you both. You want exponential growth not exponential decay to occur! With that said…. maths plays a very important part in most of the things that we do in our lives and our children’s lives.

I am not trying to teach you something you already know because many of these techniques you will already be naturally doing. Some of the following techniques you may not be doing enough of, or not at all, hence the need to encourage you to expand your input into your child’s mathematical education and take it to a new realm. I also hope to encourage you to enjoy your children’s growing up even more than what you are now.

The best way to teach maths to a pre-school aged child just starting out is to use practical methods. For example, you may be shopping and you need two cans of tuna. Ask them to get the cans from the shelf and count with them, do this with the many other items that you need. This example can be used for almost anything you do around the home as well. You can even use this example going to the park or down the street or just about everything you do. Another example is counting steps on a walkway…. just a few steps to start with and add more steps as knowledge increases. Have fun doing it by making up funny step movements.

These different types of methods teach verbal and cognitive understanding of numbers and basic concepts of addition and even subtraction if your child should grab too many items from the supermarket shelf. You can use the same concept to take away items (subtraction). Remember that nothing is too simple to ask them to do at an early age but as they learn so must you.

You need to be aware that your child is going to learn quite fast and you need to be two steps ahead or even three to keep motivating your child to learn more and more concepts so of course you need to learn how your child is coping with the challenges you are setting them and adjust them accordingly. Remember to make everything you do with your child fun if you are not having fun then they won’t either. In many of our articles on education we stress not to ever talk down to children, never ever treat your child as if they are stupid. This will only earn you disrespect and it will take much more effort on your part to gain the lost respect back. Yes, children need to know that they get things wrong but you should never belittle them.

Most children respond to the use of props. It won’t hurt to buy some if you can afford it and try them out. Use the props you get for games that you can make up yourself. Number flashcards and molded plastic numbers can be useful to help your child understand the written shape of numbers and compare them to their understanding of quantity as you are teaching in a more practical way. You may also want to use the flashcards in conjunction with wooden cubes when counting in greater numbers to assist with the concept of quantity.

If you choose to make props, I believe that your child will treasure them more than if you buy them so it is up to you what you use to motivate your child. Remember if you’re enjoying what you do, your child will be having fun too. If you make some props make sure you get your children to help with the task. This is where you can teach more concepts like measurement, volume and weight.

I hope you will become more inspired to spend more time teaching mathematical concepts to your children and many other wonderful things along the way. If you need some helpful educational material then don’t forget to check out the products from our shopping cart.

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Copyright © 2013,Ingrid Griggs.
Published by: Teaching Treasures Publications

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