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Helping Your Pre-Schooler With Math-Time to Reflect and Evaluate
We are now at the third of this series. It’s a good time to reflect and assess your progress in helping your preschooler develop math skills. Which strategies worked as you expected? Did you encounter any problems? Do you always have a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish and why?
In the introductory article to this series, we discussed the research that found that the critical years for learning logic and establishing a strong foundation in math are ages 1-4. a better predictor of future academic success than reading skills, social skills or ability to concentrate.
Read that! A child’s math skills entering kindergarten are a better predictor of future academic success than even reading skills. This result is HUGE! I hope this fact highlights how important your efforts are for your child’s future.
At this point, you may be thinking that you should shift the responsibility for learning math to an organized preschool, but I strongly caution you against that idea. Preschool, whether started at age 3 or 4, can be beneficial, especially for social skills, and may become appropriate for your child. However, it lacks those early critical years to establish a good foundation in mathematics. Moreover, as this knowledge of the importance of preschool math education becomes more widely known, more and more programs are being designed that rely too heavily on “sitting work”. Preschoolers lack the motor skills and attention span needed to succeed in an all-seat work environment. Unfortunately, in too many of these programs, our very young children lose their enthusiasm for learning. It is imperative that this does NOT happen to your child!
Now might be a good time to reread the second article in this series: 7 things you should always do. Realize that these procedures and attitudes are important for all learning to occur. In fact, you’ve probably used most, if not all, of them when working with your child’s language skills. Also be aware that most early math skills can be managed alongside early language skills. Learning to count–1, 2, 3, 4, 5,… –is the same skill as learning to say the alphabet–a, b, c, d, e,… Learning to write numbers can accompany learning to write the letters of the alphabet. Your child’s expanding vocabulary can and should also include mathematical vocabulary.
So far in this series, we’ve discussed helping your child master counting, number recognition, using number lines, focusing on if-then thinking, addition, subtraction, number families, even and odd numbers, and a brief overview of some simple number patterns. I hope you’re taking advantage of “teachable moments” rather than trying to schedule learning sessions. Your routines, such as going to the store, preparing meals, playing together, going to the park, reading at bedtime, etc., provide many opportunities to learn.
Let your child’s interest and enthusiasm guide What you do, when you do, and for how long. Frequently return to previously acquired skills to verify that their understanding is still present and correct. This will let you know if you need to relearn a skill. Know that having to re-teach is a normal part of learning and does NOT indicate failure on your part.
I will postpone articles introducing new math skills until a few articles discuss related issues, such as the importance of reading to your child, correcting learned mistakes, task analysis, and writing styles. learning. Continue to work with your child as you have. summer, always staying positive, keeping things fun, reinforcing success, and paying close attention to your child’s body language and mood.
Points to remember with preschoolers:
Children learn at their own pace. They will pick up some skills quickly while others will require repeated practice.
Children should actively participate in their learning. They have to DO things rather than watch and listen to you.
Repetition is necessary for learning to occur. However, make sure that what is repeated is to correct. Practice only makes it permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
Keep up the good work with your preschooler! Never lose sight of how important you are to your future success.
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