How Soon Can a Child Learn Math? Part II

As was noted in the previous article, age requirement for beginning mathematics with your child will be depended upon a few things: 1) your readiness to come up with creative ways to teach and command attention and; 2) your willingness to exercise patience and a loving attitude. Early childhood learning, whether its mathematics or reading, works best when abilities are allowed to unfold naturally and isn’t hampered by the pressure of expectations one way or the other.

Below are practical tips for preparing your child’s mind for basic mathematics. These exercises can work well with preschoolers as early as three. However, a child a little younger can also be instructed if the child demonstrates proficiency with the 1 – 10 counting sequence and exhibits an eagerness as well as a quickness for learning. It is essential to utilize good teaching practices particularly for children this age for optimal success.

Institute a routine to impress upon the child that these sessions will indeed become a part of his/her day. All in all, let your intention be to make this an exciting time to begin your child on a productive journey of learning experiences.

Tips for early preparation conducive for creating junior mathematicians:

o Build upon toddler activities of counting using fingers 1-10 by purchasing computer programs, DVDs, workbooks for toddlers – ages 2.5 through 4.

o Using other objects in your environment to count: apples, oranges, toys, etc. During car trips, count the number of a particular color of cars. Count the number of seconds between green and red lights. Do this throughout the day so that it becomes a habit! If the child is not receptive, (ill or temperamental) do not attempt to engage him/her. Remember to associate learning with the good feelings of fun and enthusiasm.

o After they have mastered counting 1 – 10 and are able to do it with ease, make a first attempt at teaching basic addition.

o Introduce basic addition as a new game! Grab a total of 4 oranges (or apples, etc.). Initially keep the sums to numbers under 5.

o Start with one orange. Place it in front of the child and ask him/her how many oranges he/she sees. Confirm pleasantly that it is ONE orange.

o Now grab another orange and state clearly that you will now add another orange. Place it a little apart from the first orange and then ask how many oranges are there? If the answer is TWO oranges – state that he/she is correct and reward with praise. Be sure to give hugs and kisses.

o Here is the important part of the exercise. Slowly enunciate how 1 orange PLUS 1 more orange equals 2 oranges! Get them to comprehend the concept – slowly, calmly and patiently. Never add a negative tone. If you do, the exercise becomes heavy and undesirable; possibly sabotaging a constructive attitude needed for future proficiency in math.

o Add additional oranges (or other fun objects) as learning capacity expands, gradually moving up to sums equal to five.

When complete mastery of basic addition has occurred now would be a good time to introduce workbooks (and other instructional tools) featuring basic addition. Once the child gives cues that he/she is ready to move on, subtraction beginning with differences under 5, could be a next step.

Just a few more suggestions, if the child has a hard time understanding the concept behind the word PLUS use a substitute like “add ___ more” and so on. The bottom line is to ensure that a basic understanding of addition takes place. Again, keep it fresh and fun by “adding” all kinds of things around the house. Ensure that it becomes a habit by doing it daily! Stop before the child tires of the “game” simply because it creates eagerness.

Research a good kindergarten curriculum to determine which concept to tackle next and don’t hinder with superficial (i.e. age-appropriate curriculums) limits, especially if he/she is content and capable of learning it.

Bear in mind that with early childhood education, especially mathematics – consistency and progression is key!

Home Tuition – How Can It Be Advantageous for Your Child?

Schools are meant to provide kids with the basic education that is needed prior to choosing a specific stream. However, school education has a one-size-fits-all approach and teaches pupils at the same pace whereas the pace of learning tends to vary with each child. This means that every kid learns at his own pace, something that cannot be accommodated by school education system. If your child fails to understand and grasp specific parts of the curriculum at the same pace as others, which is quite natural, it is a good idea to opt for home tuition. These are some excellent advantages of having private tutors to guide your kids at home.

Easy adjustment

Research shows that many children find it difficult to adjust to a new educational environment, even if it is the home or coaching class of a private tutor and not necessarily a school. At home, your kid will not feel any difficulty in adjustment and will feel more comfortable when he or she is learning from the tutor. Your kid will not feel embarrassed to ask questions, share opinions and seek advice from home tutors.

Complete attention from tutors

With a home tutor, your child can get complete attention and not have to share his tutor with others. The teacher will not need to concentrate on other students, and give his complete focus to your kid. This can help him to ask questions at any time that he likes, and not feel disinterested and de-motivated at any time during the study. Also, he will be unable to while away time as he will need to respond to the tutor at any given moment while studying.

No competition

Peer pressure can be extremely damaging for education. With a home tutor, your child will not feel that his actions and answers are being scrutinized by other students. Thus, he will be able to express himself more clearly and the tutor can spot his problems and weak areas. The tutor can even alter the curriculum in such a way that it gets more appropriate for your kid. With no negative sense of competition, your kid will not hold back his queries and feel free to make mistakes and learn from them.

Promise of better ranks

With complete focus and better understanding of the curriculum, your kid can offer more satisfactory answers and achieve better ranks in school. Even if your child is a decent student, he can fare much better in various subjects with more attention and a more suitable pace of learning.

Greater sense of confidence

With more personalized attention and the ability to dig into more detail about the curriculum, your kid can feel more confident about his studies and even overcome his fears of exams. You can even keep an eye on the extent of progress of your child and find out whether or his or her pace of improvement is satisfactory. With home tutors who are well-qualified, you can rest assured about the overall academic progress of your kid.