Time for numeracy, do math for fun!

  • Posted on: 2 March 2015
  • By: Johanna

January was family literacy month in Canada. I shared links to related events, information and resources on Twitter.

I read many articles about literacy and early reading intervention. The importance of reading and literacy is well publicized and well known to most people. I then read an article about math difficulties in young children. The article mentions how there are tests and interventions that address early reading difficulties. However very little research or resources are available for early math difficulties.

Math, like reading, is easier to learn starting at an early age. Almost all parents have heard about the importance of reading to their children in developing language, and by extension, reading skills. Reading to young children has become the social norm, it does not require a high skill level and generally is fun. You would never hear an adult say to a child “I'm not the literate type of person” so why should it be common to hear adults say “I'm not a math kind of person?”

Just like everyone has the ability to have basic literacy, so does everyone have the ability to learn basic numeracy. Just like reading daily, math should be part of every day. It likely already is, and you just don't realize it. Checking the time or temperature, measuring ingredients, counting items, these are all math related activities. Make a point of mentioning them, and create little math problems to extend “How many more minutes before we have to leave?” or “If I double the recipe, how much do I need?” It doesn't have to be hard, and often can be fun.

I've found some articles that have researched playing with blocks and puzzles lead to better math abilities later in life. Even looking at a shape book can raise all kinds of great conversations that are math related.

A great site is Bedtime Math. Just like there are bed time stories, they have compiled little math problems that can be done with children. They offer different solution levels depending on the age of the child (and math ability). Unlike textbook math, there isn't necessarily one right answer. The whole point is to start a discussion and to think about math.

There are so many great ways to include math in your life, keep a positive attitude (or at least try to hide the negative attitude) and encourage math. Just like reading for fun, math can be done for fun, and will be beneficial in the long run.

Do you have a child struggling with math? A tutor can help, and also provide suggestions and resources for fun math activities you can do with your child. Learn how to efficiently search for a tutor on the “How to...” page, or use the search options available at the top of every page on findAtutor.ca.

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