We are now a third of the way through this series. This is a good time to reflect and assess your progress in helping your preschooler develop math skills. What strategies worked as you expected? Have you found any problem? Do you still have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve and why?
In the introductory article to this series, we discuss research that found that the critical years for learning logic and establishing a strong mathematical foundation are 1-4 years. Similarly, from ongoing studies, there are results showing that a child’s math skills at kindergarten entry are a better predictor of future academic success than are reading skills, social skills, or ability to concentrate. .
Read that again! A child’s math skills kindergarten entrance they are a better predictor of future academic success than even reading skills. This result is HUGE! I hope this fact brings to light how important your efforts are to your child’s future.
At this point, you might be thinking that you should transfer responsibility for math learning to an organized preschool, but I strongly caution against this 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 misses those critical early years to establish a good mathematical foundation. Also, as this awareness of the importance of preschool math education becomes more widely known, more programs are being designed that rely too heavily on “seat work.” Preschoolers lack the motor skills and attention span to be successful in an all-seater work environment. Unfortunately, in many of these programs, our very young children are losing their enthusiasm for learning. It is imperative that this 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 have probably used most, if not all, of these while working on your child’s language skills. Keep in mind, too, 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 include math vocabulary as well.
So far in this series, we’ve discussed how to help your child master counting, number recognition, using number lines, focusing on “if-then” thinking, addition, subtraction, number families , odd and even numbers, and a quick look at some simple ones. number patterns. Hopefully, she’s taking advantage of “teachable moments” instead of trying to schedule learning sessions. His routines, such as going to the store, preparing meals, playing together, going to the park, reading before bed, etc., provide many opportunities for learning to occur.
Let your child’s interest and enthusiasm guide what you do, when you do, and for how long. He frequently returns to previously learned skills to check that his understanding is still present and correct. This will let you know if you need to reteach a skill. Know that reteaching is a normal part of learning and does NOT indicate a failure on your part.
I’m going to hold off on articles that introduce new math skills until after some articles that will address some related topics, such as the importance of reading to your child, correcting learned mistakes, task analysis, and learning styles. Continue to work with your son as she has. been, always stay positive, keep things fun, reinforce success, and pay close attention to your child’s body language and mood.
Points to remember with preschoolers:
- Children learn at their own pace. They will learn some skills quickly, while other skills will take repeated practice.
- Children need to be actively involved in their learning. They should DO things instead of looking at you and listening to you.
- Repetition is necessary for learning to occur. However, make sure that what is repeated is Right. Practice only makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
Keep up the good work with your preschooler! Never lose sight of how important you are to future success.