Whether your child attends public school, a charter school, uses private school or tutoring or is homeschooled, you probably already know how important it is to reinforce classroom learning at home. Fortunately, there’s an overabundance of information online to help you teach your little ones at home, especially during the summer, BUT where do you start?
Math especially is often difficult for young children to grasp since it deals in abstracts. Supplemental math education doesn’t have to be tricky.
Here are 7 super useful tips for applying Math concepts to your home life:
1. Always consider the individual.
We all know that everyone learns in different ways. Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.
If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child. The following quiz from edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information each style. Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz
2. Appeal to his/her interests.
If you want your child to enjoy learning with you, you’ll need to make it fun for them. Pay attention to their hobbies and likes, be it cars, drawing, singing, dressing up, collecting leaves or what have you. Use these to create learning experiences that coincide with things they already love.
3. Keep it simple.
The best way to teach a young child is with hands on activities that don’t take a ton of resources or explanation. Most of the time, your most successful teaching experiences will incorporate things you already have around the house and will require little planning on your part.
4. Keep it short.
Generally speaking, a young child can only focus on one learning activity for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Don’t plan long or involved math lessons that take longer than this to accomplish, or you are sure to lose your child’s interest. You can do multiple different math activities within a specific span of time, but they will each need to be short and simple.
5. Be hands-on.
Whatever learning style your child prefers, math concepts tend to “stick” better when children can “handle” the things they’re learning about. Allowing them to use their hands or bodies gives each abstract math idea more meaning.
6. Give math concepts an everyday application.
When you’re at the grocery store, you can have your child count out individual items (“I need four apples…) or help you use the scale. They can also get a basic understanding of money if you let them pay and handle change. When you’re walking to your car you can count steps. Take giant steps and mini steps and talk about the difference in number. While you drive, you can play “I Spy” with shapes. At home, you can play sorting games with almost anything – folding socks, putting groceries away, etc. If you make math a part of everyday life, it won’t seem like a chore.
7. Most importantly, keep it fun!
You don’t need worksheets to teach math! Use games, songs and rhymes, props/toys/manipulatives, and books!
DON’T FORGET: little learners need a functional, organized space to keep them engaged and attentive. Check out these super organized school-related spaces on Remodelaholic! Tons of easy to implement solutions to keep kids excited about learning!
* For more tips and ideas, check out these links!
Mom’s Heart – Living Math for Preschoolers
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com