Monday, April 23, 2018
Supporting Early Math Skills
When my children began school and I realized that math was being taught in a completely different way than when I was a child, I was frustrated. Math was never my strong suite, so I always felt nervous when one of my children came home needing help with a math assignment. Seeing as math was being taught in a new way, I also wondered if my old school ways would confuse my kids in their learning.
Having a quick talk with my child's teacher helped put me on the same page, but I also found that one of the best ways I could support my children was to have a good attitude about math from the start. I do privately complain (not perfect by any means), but when I am within earshot of my children, I try my best to keep a positive attitude about math. I know they will mimic my actions and behaviors, so if they overhear me complaining about math being taught in a way I cannot understand, they will feel the same frustration and complain about doing it altogether. If I am positive, they will be too, and I want to help keep them motivated and encouraged even when they feel challenged!
Find some fun activities to share with your child that focus on math. This not only allows another method of teaching (which helps us parents out), but also hones in on the fun aspect of the subject - which will encourage learning. There are several opportunities both locally and within a short driving distance that focus on math - and science - that I've listed below, as well as a few websites to get you started on ideas to try at home.
What is S.T.E.A.M. ? Locally, the Jackson District Library offers a S.T.E.A.M. & Stories program meant for children ages 0-5 and Super S.T.E.M. Stations daily across the county. For a day trip, visit Impressions 5 in Lansing, MI.
Pick up a pair of dice and check out this website full of game ideas to play with your child. All are super fun, easy, portable, and highly educational.
NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)