Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teaching Math.

I have been so busy that it’s hard to find the time to post.
But I need to post something because I have a million things that I want to write down and if I don’t do it soon, I will forget.

I had a friend ask me to share how I was able to get my oldest child to do 1st grade math by age four.

First of all, the kid just loves to learn. So that is a huge plus.
But I also think that it also has to do with HOW learning is approached. (Which can either help your child love learning or hate it)

1.) DON’T PUSH!!! Guide instead.
There is a HUGE difference between pushing and guiding. When a child hates doing what you are trying to teach them to do, you are pushing.

Guiding involves getting on their level and doing the task with them while showing them the way.

Pushing is merely trying to get your kid to “perform” something……..usually so you can feel validated as a parent that your child knows something.
Kids can feel that kind of pressure and it not only frustrates them, but makes them shut down pretty quick.

When I do math with Tyler, I count with him, add with him, subtract with him, and come up with the answer with him. Pretty soon, he wants to show off and do it “all by himself.” And that is when I know he gets it!!!
(And I just saw him helping Audrey with her math this very same way the other day. So cute!!)

2.) Use something to Manipulate with.
Since Tyler is adding double digit numbers, we use a little cup of beans to add and subtract with.
If you have your child count with something edible, I guarantee you that they will focus more on the fact that they want to eat it then they will think about math. (And they will ask you if they can eat it…………. every two seconds)

3.) Don’t underestimate what your child is capable of.
Children understand a whole lot more then we think. Every time I have hesitated teaching my children something because it might be too hard for them, but try it anyways, I am always shocked at how fast they pick it up. But they pick it up a whole lot faster if I do it WITH them. It’s amazing!!

And if I could point to anything that has helped Tyler learn Math, it would HAVE to be these three things.

Happy learning!!

1 comment:

Kathleen Mangum said...

Oh, I was so pushing Lena today. She always wants to "do school" when she's ready for a nap or lunch, or just not ready. I realize now why do you do school early in the morning. It's when they are at their best, and so are you. Thanks for the reminder. I'm trying, maybe someday I'll be as cool as you. Thanks for your inspiration. We need to get together soon.