Every mother is aware that math is very important and you may try to teach how to count number when your child at his/her very young age.
I believe you want to make your child become good at maths.
But, why only few child become math lover when they go to school?
Have you ever thought that the way to teach your little one may prevent their Math ability?
Maybe you don’t want to accept the fact.
But unfortunately, this is the truth.
Do you know what is the problem if a child can only count from 1-100 without understanding values of numbers?
We will share you what you have to do and what you can not do to your child when you teach math at home.
Have you ever taught your child the way of these?
The following are common ways to teach math at first. You may also believe that these are good for your young child to memorize numbers.
- I am teaching my small child to count from 1 to 100.
- I am teaching my small child to spell numbers 1-10 correctly
- I am teaching my small child to show his age using his fingers.
- I am asking my small child to write numbers every day
- I am using number figure cards and let my small child tell me what is that number.
Do you believe your way to teach is really good?
Many parents are doing those ways, but did you hear any child who became very good at math after doing these?
Some might say that their child was able to spell and write numbers by doing these ways but we are not sure if the child really understands the numbers.
Oftentimes, we can hear and see that despite helping the child to count 1-100, they still struggle to understand the quality of numbers.
How do you feel if the way you teach your little one may prevent their Math ability?
But unfortunately, this is the truth.
We saw many children that who can count one up to hundred when they are very young.
Also, they are very proud which they can count correctly.
But once we show them a concrete object and ask them how many are there?
They are starting to count from one. Even only two or three objects!
Then can not answer immediately, they get used counting from one.
Why those ways may prevent your child’s Math ability?
All following way maybe families with you also you may have tried one of these.
You are wondering why these ways are not good for your child.
So we can explain to you why these ways are not good for your child.
1. I’m teaching my child to count from 1 to 100.
When you teach your child to count numbers 1-100, it is plainly memorization and not fully understanding of the quantity of number.
2. I am teaching my child to spell numbers 1-10 correctly
It is quite dangerous if you will focus first on teaching how to spell numbers rather than helping your small child to understand quantity.
Your child will focus more on “1” or “one’’ rather than learning the value of it.
3. I am teaching my son to show his age using his fingers.
If your small child has an elder or younger brother/sister, please ask him to show to them his/her age using fingers.
You might see that your child may show wrongly.
It teaches memorization only, shows fingers and answer the question “How old are you?” without understanding the quality of numbers.
When he becomes four years old he/she may still show three fingers because he/she may only memorize to show three fingers when asked about “How old are you?”
4. I am asking my child to write numbers every day
Letting your child write numbers before they can even understand the quantity of number may prevent developing his/her math ability.
Your child may focus more on writing instead of understanding the number itself first.
If you teach number writing same as with the alphabet, your child may understand that numbers is same with ABC. But of course, numbers are totally different from alphabets for there are many ways to represent numbers.
5. I am using number figure cards and let your child tell me what is that number.
When you use figure cards in teaching numbers this will be the picture of numbers in their mind.
Your child may see 1, 2, 3 instead use real objects such as one apple, two banana, three balls.
Using number figure will not let your child understand the quantity but only to memorise the number figure will limit your child’s understanding of the quantity.
You better to introduce the actual number of objects and avoid using only number figures.
What will happen if you teach math in wrong way?
It is very dangerous if you just teach your child the number or word spelling before they fully understand the quality of numbers.
If your child learns “quantity of Number” without the understanding of quality, your child will have a fix thinking of number (just count from 1, 2, 3 ) then very hard to imagine the quality of numbers.
Then once they are facing a difficult question, their brain will stop thinking.
They won’t be able to know how to solve problems critically
If your child will learn first number figure and spelling, your child will not understand real numbers.
He/she only knows symbols or just name of numbers not quality of numbers
When we teach numbers please take note that it is different from teaching objects and names.
When you teach names of objects, the name is fixed and unchangeable.
If we introduce a cat to a child, we just tell that it’s a cat.
But for numbers is has many ways to represent.
One can be one book, one pen, one eraser etc.
Numbers can be expressed in other ways and not only by number figure 1,2,3,4 or one, two, three, and so on.
How to teach numbers in a proper way to your child?
Now, you may understand why teaching number memorisation is not good for your child.
But, maybe you also want to know the correct way to teach at home.
We will introduce some useful ways for your child to acquire good mathematical thinking.
1. “Do choose real object” – Use tangible things to teach numbers
When you use a real object you can teach the quantity of numbers even you are at home, grocery store, or restaurants.
You can also use this time to teach the actual number of objects. You may ask your child to count all the plates he can see while waiting for food.
You can also ask your child to get things while you are at the grocery.
“Can you please get 3 apples and 2 oranges for me?”
After he gets, you can count together with your child to check if he gets it correctly.
Using things/objects that your child can touch and feel will help them understand the quantity of numbers.
They can also practice counting with you.
2. Ask your child “How many you have?” Let child hold, touch, and count objects to remember actual numbers
Asking questions to your child is a good strategy to challenge his mind. Whenever do you ask questions such as how many you have?
Your child thinking process will work in a different manner and build own strategy.
Your child will be able to analyse the question and think of a solution to answer your question.
It is not like memorisation or just counting, this is the application of numbers in real life.
“How many crayons you will use?” “How many apples did we buy?”
These questions are good to see if your child really does know what number is and apply in a life situation.
3. Introduce the parts of numbers – Make your child know that numbers also have parts!
This simple technique is the foundation of child’s understanding of the part-part-whole concept of numbers.
It simply means that numbers also have parts. To make a certain number, a child needs to know the parts of it.
You may use simple things such as caps, blocks, buttons etc.
Place in front of his groups of numbers such as 2 caps and 3 caps.
Then ask your child “How many is this?” point on one group.
Next thing is to ask the other group, “How about this? How many?”
Then tell your child, “So, I will put them together and please tell me how many all?”
The child will easily see, count and even feel the number parts concept.
4. Practice memorisation of quantity and not figures.
Doing this strategy will train child’s mind to easily remember the numbers and not the figure.
Sample: use some flashcards with 1, 2 or 3 same pictures (1 dog, 2 dogs, 3 dogs) then ask the child how many is this.
Without counting, your child should immediately say 1, 2, or 3 until 10 or more with practice.
Let us start teaching the proper way today!
Now, I think that you fully understand why the previous ways you believed is not good for your child.
You may also see the efficient way that we shared with you.
Doing the correct way to teach numbers, we can promote child’s full understanding of numbers and avoid having difficulties when your small child becomes schoolers.
This is the right time to consider, learn and know the best way to teach before you start teaching your own small child at home.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today”
So, why not start teaching the proper way for your child’s bright future?