Parents must be active in their children’s early years to help them get the best out of their learning. Children naturally learn by imitating what they see their parents do. If your kids see you do math everyday; even as little as adding up how much you will spend at the supermarket, they will be more inclined to also add up some simple numbers.
Experts have studied how children learn math, and have deduced that there are some essential math skills which children must possess once they start kindergarten. These skills are not in any way complicated, and can be taught to your kids as fun, enjoyable activities.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
When your kid starts kindergarten, they will be expected to solve some simple math problems such as adding and subtracting small numbers. To make it easier for the young learners, the numbers are often represented with objects and things your kids are familiar with.
Parents can encourage their kids to solve simple math problems during the course of a day. For example, while setting the table for dinner, ask your kids to set out a certain number of cutlery and plates. Also, during play, ask your kids questions that will stimulate their thinking. Questions such as “If you give me one of your dolls, how many dolls do you have left?” will push your child to perform some simple math worksheets for kindergarten on the spot.
Songs about counting numbers like ‘Ten Little Duckies” are also perfect for teaching addition and subtraction at an early age.
Counting and Cardinality
According to experts, children who are ready for kindergarten classes are expected to possess basic counting skills. Some of these basic skills are; identifying how many items are in a small group set, counting to 20, and ordering number cards.
Cardinality is the understanding that the last number counted in a set represents the total number of items. Encourage your kids to practice their counting and cardinality skills as they play; counting their toys to ensure that everyone made it in for the night, counting how many spoons of sugar go into the cookie dough, and so much more.
Games like hopscotch and jump rope will reinforce your child’s counting skills.
In kindergarten, your children will be given tasks where they are expected to sort different objects according to their size, color, shape, etc. Teaching kids measurement begins as soon as they understand that saying “more” means they will receive an extra helping of cake at the table.
You can start experimenting with your kids in the kitchen as you cook. Ask them to measure out the baking or cooking ingredients you need with measuring cups and spoons. Additionally, encourage your children to sort their toys according to color or size as they put them away at the end of the day.
Don’t forget your use of language in terms of measurement. Use words like “biggest”, “wider”, “taller” “longer”, when talking to your kids. Say things like “Please, pass the biggest spoon” while they help you around the kitchen.
Teaching kids the basics of math in a friendly and fun way will help them develop an understanding of the subject as they progress academically. If you need help with teaching your kindergartners math, educational material such as this parenting eLearning blog are available for you.