As a parent, you might want to know how to help your preschooler for success in kindergarten. You probably know the crucial importance of talking and reading with your children to develop their literacy skills. You may even have made teaching, learning, talking and reading part of your daily routine. But did you know that you can give your child the same kind of support with math at home? What are the early skills that boost mathematical thinking? How to get parents more familiar with the key role they can play as their children's first teachers? Here some good answers.
Young kids need to learn fundamental number skills, starting with counting aloud and identifying numbers from 1 to 10 and beyond. But they also need to understand that each number word and symbol corresponds to a quantity of things; that the spoken word "four" and the symbol "4" are the same as representing four dogs or four cats or four horses; that we have to count to know how many items are in a set. Kids are ready very early to compare numbers (which one is smaller or bigger) and grasp the concepts of addition and subtraction. The development of spatial skills and the understanding of patterns (sequences that follow a rule) are also key in early math learning.
Many parents practice math at home with their children by focusing on number-related activities like naming and counting numbers. This is however not enough and they are a lot of other things to do. A great one being playing board games and card games with your preschooler. Every day. Day after day.
Picture: A mom teaching math to her son (Arcanys Early Learning Foundation)