The Importance of Math in the Early Years

Early childhood education should introduce simple mathematical concepts.

While preschool children might not yet be ready to learn the practice of the math skills, they can gain a basic idea of the practice through language and practice. Parents and Educators play an important role in influencing and being a role model for children by providing opportunities for children to learn and develop new skills. Adults need to allow children to direct their own play and support them by enhancing or extending their play.

Children need opportunities to:

* Discover and create.

* Use number concepts and skills to explore.

* Develop confidence in their ability to think things through.

* Solve meaningful problems.

* Create connections to help discover relationships (e.g. characteristics).

Preschool children don't learn at the same rate or pace. It is no different than how some adults master skills faster or slower than others. As a parent, you shouldn't stress if your preschooler doesn't count as well as other children. With the use of the right tools and encouragement, most children should have a firm grasp of the foundational concepts by the age of five.

Goals of Preschool

Math In preschool math the goal is to help children develop a sense of math around them, to notice and use numbers, and to use math concepts to explore their world.

During the preschool years we can help kids:

* Use numbers and counting to explore their world notice shapes, patterns, and colors.

* Use math to communicate things about their world (how long something is, how heavy it is, etc)

* Home preschool math instruction should not be focused on rote memorization or drilling factual knowledge.

Math can be incorporated into playful activities like:

*Counting how many blocks tall a child’s tower is.

* Comparing who has more grapes on their plate at snack time.

* Identifying shapes of street signs during car rides.

* Finding patterns on different clothes in a child’s closet.