Friday, March 22, 2013

fear of numbers anyone?

Don't let your fear (or hatred) of math keep you from doing it with your kids-early numeracy and spacial skills are key to academic success.

People say to read books to your babies even if they're not focusing on the books. Numbers are very important in a child's life too.

Experts will agree that language skills are vitally important for intellectual development.  But babies start learning math innately from the day they're born - distinguishing shapes and quantities between feedings and naps.  The sooner parents start to connect those infant observations with actual math, the better off they'll be in the long run.

Strong math skills in the preschool years are the best predictor of later academic success.  Toddlers easily identify every day objects and incorporate math into them.   Objects like muffin tins, walking and counting the steps, pouring water into different sized containers etc.  Math is all around them as well as words.  Setting the table establishes patterns and recipes use measurement.  Math is everywhere and you can casually point things out and say, "We're doing math!"

Parents often feel uncomfortable with their own math skills and understanding.  They tend to think that math=arithmetic.  But math is much more.  It includes geometry, probability, measurement and patterning.

Kids love math counting books or you can just count out loud in your every day activities.  Count the scoops of coffee or the number of steps while walking up the stairs.  Parents know enough about math to engage in math talk and math games with their kids. Also if math is not your thing don't express that feeling out loud.  Keep the attitude towards words, math and learning a very positive thing.  Another thing you can do is when you are reading out loud to your child have them count the number of birds on the page (for example), or discuss the shape of a wheel.

There are lots of math games and apps available for your child but the very best teaching tool is your child's adult human casually engaging him/her in everyday math and having fun doing it.

If kids understand math, it just becomes part of their world.  When they go to school, they're excited about reading and their excited about math too.

Read on and read always!

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