How important is parental support in children’s math development? Sylvia Tobin, a Kindergarten teacher with 28 years of experience, gives us the low-down on how to set kids up for a lifetime of success in math.
Research has shown children who are exposed to math early and who learn the basics at a young age are set for a lifetime of achievement in all aspects of their academic performance.
As parents, we are the first teachers our children have. Giving our kids an opportunity to get a head start in math is one of the best things we can do for their future successes. Experts say earlier is better when it comes to introducing basic math. A child who develops early math skills is more likely to be successful in later academic pursuits.
I’ve heard lots of parents over the years expressing a lack of confidence in their own math abilities. Children have an uncanny ability to sense an adult’s comfort with (or dislike of) certain things, and math is no exception.
We don’t need university degrees in math education to instill a positive attitude towards math in our children. We can be the catalysts for our child’s achievement in mathematics simply by providing opportunities that allow them to engage in math activities every day and by making early math fun.
Many daily situations provide parents with opportunities that engage children in mathematical thinking and problem solving and, at the same time, build their self-confidence and appreciation for mathematics.
Ways to Put Early Math on the Menu
We can make math a key part of our child’s early education simply by providing opportunities to talk about math and problem solve as they arise during the day:
- When setting the table, have your children figure out how many knives, forks, plates, and so on that you need and then have them count them out
- Look for the longest or shortest socks when sorting clothes
- Count how many benches there are when you go for a walk in the park
- Have your child figure out who has more grapes when serving snacks
- Look for signs of a certain shape as you drive to the babysitter’s house
- Use words to model and discuss measurement (i.e. “I wonder if your block tower is taller than the coffee table)
- Playing games like I Spy that emphasize math language (using words like “bigger,” “smaller,” “round,” “beside,” and so on)
- Providing toys, such as blocks, that allow for developing the concept of number, patterning and measurement
- Choosing books and educational videos/games focusing on math concepts
By making early math part of young children’s daily lives, you’ll help them develop skills, gain confidence, and become prepared for the future. For more ideas on how to make math fun for your children, pop over to our blog post 5 Ways to Make Math Fun for Early Learners!
Written By: Admin
Zorbit’s Math Adventure is a game-based learning program for K-3 math, created by a team of experienced teachers, educators, & game designers. The curriculum-based math activities engage young learners in rich, immersive environments that are cognitively & developmentally appropriate for their age. Aligned to all curricula within North America, Zorbit also delivers teachers a suite of tools & resources to help close learning gaps & differentiate instruction.