This is a common problem amongst children who
attend programs that focus heavily on 'paperwork'. At a young age, children
absorb concepts through the manipulation of objects, every day
conversations, and through real life
experiences. The kinds of experiences required to truly internalize
mathematical concepts are hard to capture on paper. Therefore,
children who are taught math concepts via paperwork (which tend to be
very abstract), have difficulty absorbing the concepts and being able to
demonstrate their knowledge of them.
Most mathematical concepts can be
everyday life using common household objects and simple conversation.
cooking, grocery shopping, putting toys away, and doing laundry,
you can apply
the concepts of numbers (symbols and quantities, easy
addition/multiplication/subtraction/division, currency, fractions,
etc). You don't have to give an entire 'lesson' each time, but every day
conversations can hold some mathematical information that will slowly
build a very strong understanding and foundation in a child's mind.
1) Geometry: Geometric
shapes and solids can be found everywhere: inside your home, out in the
garden, the shopping mall, the library, all over the place! The ring on
your finger is a circle, a slice of pizza can be triangle, a ball is
a sphere, a square box is a cube, a church steeple is a square based
pyramid, a stop sign is an octagon, etc. You can talk about how many
sides a square has, count the sides of a triangle, walk in a circle to
determine it doesn't have any sides!
2) Counting quantities
while grocery shopping:
can you count 8 apples as I put them in to the bag?, lets count how many
are in the carton, lets count how many groceries we're buying as we put
the check-out counter.
3) Addition: We each need
a banana for lunch tomorrow - if
there are 4 people in our family, how many bananas do we need to buy?
One for Mommy, one for Daddy, one for Ben, and one for you! Let's count
how many bananas there are all together.
4) Division: This bag of
dinner rolls has 6 rolls in it. How
many can each of us have? Show how to give each person 1 roll at a time
all rolls are divided equally.
5) Fractions: cutting a
pizza in half, or quarters, eating 1/2
a pizza, eating 3/4 of a pizza. Slicing a cake or pie - it's all early
fraction work that can be
conveyed through the actions of cutting, eating, and simple
6) Currency: It's never to early to
start talking about money! Start off simple with learning the names
of each coin. Build on that with how many of each coin it takes to make a
dollar. Talk about money when purchasing items. Teach them how to say
the amount of money correctly. Show your child how to watch the register
for the correct prices. Allow them to give the money to the cashier,
and count back the change with them when they receive it.
7) Food prep, cooking, baking, setting the table are all other
ways to talk about math. From counting, to measuring, adding more
ingredients to make recipes larger, counting plates and cutlery, a
kitchen holds numerous ways to incorporate math.
There are countless ways in
which math is woven in to our every day life activities. It's just a
matter of allowing the children to participate in these experiences. Mathematical
concepts that are concrete and applied
directly to the child and their own life experiences are the best
child will ever learn!
I hope that gets you started. Best
of luck - and
have fun! Back to Top