Looking to enrich your child and develop your child’s mathematical skills? Our expert shares some tips.
Improve Your Child’s Maths Skills: Expert Tips
1. Lay a strong foundation
Teach concepts the right concepts from the start and avoid rote learning, says Chua Chin Loong, Co-founder and Head of Curriculum at Seriously Addictive Mathematics. Counting by memorizing, for example, can only lead to problems as mathematical concepts get more complex.
2. Use concrete examples
Instead of writing or showing the number 2 to a child, show them real objects, suggests Chin Loong. “Demonstrate these ideas by using concrete objects such as little bears or counting cubes. E.g., to show 3 more than 4, place 4 bears on the table in a line, then add 3 more bears slowly to demonstrate the concept of ‘more than’.”
See also: Common Misconceptions about Maths
3. Progress one step at a time
Once they are able to identify the number ‘2’ at a concrete level, the next step is to present it to them in pictorial form. i.e. drawings. Lastly, you can translate the number sum into symbols, which is at the abstract level to a child.
For example, if I have four bears and take one bear away, how many bears are there left? The concerete form of this would be presenting real objects to represent the bears, and ‘act’ the sum out. The pictorial form of this would be to draw it on paper. The abstract form of this would be 4 – 1 = 3.
4. Do not rush your child
Children should not be rushed to advance from the concrete to abstract stage, as the foundation is the most important, warns Chin Loong, who has years of teaching experience as a Maths teacher. “Do not advance a child until they fully understand the concept. Assess and focus your child’s understanding and ability. Take a step back if you need to, even if that means more
time and effort.”
Where to go: Seriously Addictive Mathematics
For more tips from the experts, read our Enrichment and Preschool Resource Guide
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