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Teaching Math at Home

Math is essential in life when you are cooking, buying groceries or paying bills but to a toddler or preschooler it can be as simple as who has more cookies!

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As parents we read to our children but many of us neglect counting and other math concepts early on. Why? For some, math is something we think can be taught at a later age, but we are now learning that even babies are capable of learning math. So how do you teach the very young?

It is best to teach young children with concepts they understand. Here are some tips:

For counting:
Get into the habit of counting everything with your child. The buttons on his jacket, the peas on his plate, and the shoes on his feet! Use manipulatives such as blocks and cubes and count them together. Count body parts like hands, eyes, nose and fingers. Cooking is an ideal method of talking about numbers. Cut a pizza in half, that’s two pieces! Cut it in quarters, now you have four pieces!

For comparisons:
Weigh toys. Ask your child “Which toy is the heaviest? Look at vegetables and ask which one is bigger or smaller?

For concepts, sorting and classifying:
Concepts like longer, shorter, more, less, heavier, and lighter, nearer and further are parts of math too. Compare objects when you see them. When it comes to sorting and classifying, make a collection of objects and sort them by size, shape, or color.

Making math a part of you child’s life is important. Read stories that include counting and sorting and show the difference in objects. Talk about numbers in daily activities such as grocery shopping and cooking. Sing songs about counting.

Remember that it is easier when you learn the actual counting of math before learning the labels of numbers. Young children may not understand the numeral 4, but they will understand it stands for “four of something.” The key to teaching math at home is to use your child’s world of objects they can understand.

~ Enjoy being your child’s first teacher in life ~

Sandra Kuykendall-Lombard lives in Texas with her husband and son. She is a writer, homeschooler, artist as well as a parent to a special needs child. As a free-lance writer, her content focuses on gardening, crafts, relationships and family life. For more ideas, visit the homeschool board of Friends and Families, where friends become family.

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