Do you remember when your child first started counting their toys? Or when they pointed to a number and said it out correctly? Or when they first told you how many presents they want from Santa?
Children starting to count is a significant milestone in their development, and it’s a signal that they are ready to start learning math.
You may be wondering why your child should learn math in preschool when they would learn math in primary school. As it turns out, studies have shown that learning maths from a young age is best during the first 4 years of their life.
During these years, they are aware of numbers and are inquisitive about learning more. Start by introducing your child to math in the environment they are in. Teach them how to count what is in your home, like their toys or the chocolates on their plate. After they are comfortable with numbers, it’s time to enrol them for math in preschool, where the teachers can help further their math skills!
While preschool children may not be ready to learn how to apply their math skills, they can still get a basic understanding of the process through language and practice.
1. Helps with their future math achievements
Studies have shown that children who started learning maths early on have a notably easier time when solving maths questions in their later years. Having early math skills is a solid early predictor of children’s math achievements in the future.
2. Provides vital life skills
In preschool, the teachers teach them how to understand size, shape, and patterns, how to count verbally, how to recognise numerals, etc. Children can use these abilities to solve problems, measure, comprehend shapes, and develop their own spatial awareness.
Additionally, teaching children how to tell time, estimate, and think critically is all included during math in preschool. Math also builds reasoning, which helps aid in children’s comprehension skills.
3.Prepare them for primary education
Learning math in preschool lays the foundation for a child’s entire academic career. Children may not be ready to continue into primary education without understanding basic abilities like number sense, arithmetic principles, and simple application of ideas like adding and subtracting.
Much like how singing L-M-N-O-P from the alphabet song doesn’t teach phonemic awareness, children don’t develop number sense by simply teaching them number words and order.
These abilities, such as number sequence, shape recognition, item counting, spatial awareness, and knowing the differences between over and under, are necessary for children to develop during math in preschool as a foundation for primary school math.
Math in preschool helps children familiarise themselves with basic terms and mathematical ideas, which lays the groundwork for their understanding of math. Practising through language and math exercises prepares them to apply the knowledge in a classroom setting.
They would also adjust better to their new environment and curriculum since they learned math in preschool. Since the children already understand the concept, primary school teachers can concentrate on teaching them the application of ideas.
4. Provides the foundation they need to succeed in primary school and beyond
According to studies, children can already recognise tiny groupings of numbers without counting. As a result, learning math in preschool will help children build the basis for success and the math skills they’ll need in the future. Research has also shown that children will benefit in the long run from early effective math interventions.
Children who attempt learning maths at a later age may struggle since they are not equipped with the aforementioned skills. Understanding one mathematical principle might occasionally aid students in understanding another. Numerous research on children’s math learning has shown this process, called transfer of learning, to occur. For instance, teaching children simple addition is made easier when they have a clear concept of where numbers appear on a number line.
How to start
Math and counting concepts should be introduced to children at a young age, just like reading and speaking. According to research, because of their natural sense of number, infants as young as 12 months old can determine how many items there are in a group of up to three objects. Children learn to count when they begin to link the words we use to count with this inner awareness.
1. Learning maths through art
Math gains a sensory component from art. Different areas of the brain are stimulated when touch and sound are combined with a straightforward math problem. Plus, art makes math a rewarding learning experience.
Art is excellent for experiential learning. When newly learned material is applied in the actual world, children learn far more.
Open-ended art projects provide kids with the ability to come to their own conclusions, solve problems, and try new things. As such, their thoughts will be more open to creative alternatives.
Working on math art projects helps kids develop their critical thinking abilities and a greater awareness of their surroundings. Learning through art makes abstract ideas like symmetry, space, and shapes easier to understand.
2. Learning maths through play
Toddlers and young children learn difficult math ideas best through play. Playing with their hands helps children focus for longer periods and helps them develop a more complete comprehension of numbers. Children learn much more than just black-and-white markings on paper when they playfully explore ideas like numbers, shape, time, and measure. For example, asking children how far they think their favourite ice cream store is from them and how much time it’ll take for them to get there helps make math exciting for them. They’ll begin to recognize math in the surroundings around them, and they’ll be able to explore these ideas daily.
3. Learning maths through surroundings
Children are more engaged and interested in math and their environment when math is introduced through their surroundings. The teachers can reinforce the students’ understanding of math in preschool and make it more enjoyable for them by using objects around them, such as chairs, vehicles, road signs, packaging, storybook pages, and life control buttons.