A lot of children dislike Math in general. It can prove challenging to get children’s attention when numbers are involved because this subject can be confusing and difficult to grasp – even for adults. This is why it is important to make sure that you know how to teach your child Math facts in the most effective and efficient way. This way you will help your child from having the "I-Hate-Math" syndrome in the future.
- Teach lessons in progression. When teaching Math, it’s important to teach simple lessons first. Begin with topics that naturally occur in your child’s immediate environment. Some of these topics include the colors, sizes and shapes of objects. Start by letting your child observe these traits in his toys.
- Be consistent, and watch out for “teachable opportunities.” Let your child realize early on that Math is all around. This way, he will learn to develop greater interest in this subject and appreciate its value. When you’re in the car with him, for example, play a game of color identification. You could also count objects on the street with him.
- Use visuals to teach the concept of numbers. One of the first and most important Math concepts that children have to learn is called “one-to-one correspondence”. This concept refers to how a child will understand that a symbol (such as “1”) actually stands for a particular number of objects.
You could introduce one-to-one correspondence through using things in the house. For example, prepare a set of spoons, beans, or anything else available to start teaching him that number one is equivalent to one spoon while number two means two beans and so on and on forth. Count these items together, and then write the corresponding figure that represents this number.
- Teach basic arithmetic through concrete examples. Young children learn best through concrete, rather than abstract, illustrations. When introducing the concept of addition and subtraction, avoid focusing on its symbolic aspects. Highlight instead the reasoning behind these operations. It’s also good to use authentic examples and situations. For example, you could tell your child: If I gave you two jellybeans, and I gave you one more, how many do you have altogether? Use two real jellybeans (and add one more) while doing this lesson.
- Use play and games as your primary instrument for Math learning. Play is now valued as an effective tool for teaching, because it provides an environment for authentic learning. Play is something that children naturally understand and enjoy. Be creative in thinking of games and play activities that highlight essential Math concepts.
- Foster a positive attitude towards Math. As mentioned, one of the biggest hindrances towards developing mathematical knowledge is having a fear of Math. Spare your child this emotion and always teach in a fun atmosphere with lots of support and encouragement.
These are the things that you can do when you want your children to properly learn and at the same time, completely understand Math facts. Remember, kids are pretty much like sponges, as they are at a developmental stage when they can soak information up very easily. It is wise that you teach them basic Math concepts starting from an early stage.