This blog is aimed at any parent who is looking for advice about child care and early learning. I do not work in this industry. My name is Keira, and I am just another loving parent who wants the best for her child. When my child was 2 years old, I decided to return to work. This was the beginning of my search for child care. Over the next couple of months, I learnt lots of useful things from other mothers and those who work in the industry. I hope this blog helps you to make the right choice when it comes to child care.
The first time your child walks into a math lesson, they may feel intimated and confused. However, math lessons instil many different skills in your child over time. In fact, basic math concepts come in handy across many different academic disciplines.
When your child is preparing for their first math lesson, you should be closely involved and ensure that the school is emphasizing the following important skills.
1. Attention to detail
From the simple math problems in a pre kindergarten program to complex equations that are used to determine the earth's path around the sun, math is all about paying attention to detail. A single misplaced number in an equation may result in a completely different answer. Therefore, your child's math lessons should teach them how to pay attention to detail. They should practice how to carefully read through problems and to identify the best approach they can use towards solving a problem.
Instilling attention to detail takes time and practice. Make sure your child receives enough attention from their teacher, and you should also play your part by encouraging a conducive learning environment at home.
2. A proper understanding of the language used
Mathematics is as much about language as it is about numbers. If your child has trouble reading and understanding mathematical problems, they'll have an equally difficult time crunching the numbers.
Make sure your child's math lessons emphasize an understanding of the language used. The lessons should be conceptualised such that your child can easily relate to the objects being counted or the items being multiplied/subtracted. For example, when learning about fractions, children should be presented with examples that use familiar items such as fruits (oranges, bananas, apples,), cake, toys, etc.
Mathematics is the ultimate game of Jenga, where lessons build on top of each other over the years. If your child doesn't understand a basic concept, they will struggle further during more advanced learning.
Make sure your child's school spends enough time teaching basic mathematical concepts. Addition and subtraction should be the basis, followed by multiplication and division. At home, encourage your child to share what they learnt in school and help them catch up on any areas of difficulty.
4. Critical thinking
Critical thinking sounds like a big word and a complex skill, but its foundations begin early. When your child reads a math problem and explores different approaches to use while solving it, that is critical thinking. When your child tries out various approaches towards solving an equation, that is critical thinking.
At school, children should be taught multiple math concepts so they can eventually determine (by themselves) which approach is best to use.