By Tracy Martin-Turgeon
Myths about Math:
1. If children do not get basic math concepts in early years and elementary, they will just catch up later on.
· This is false; research has shown that if a child struggles in elementary school in math, they will still struggle in middle and high school. It is important for children to grasp math at an early age.
2. Teaching children math at preschool level is not serious until middle or high school.
· Not true; children who are exposed to basic number sense early on and in Kindergarten tend to succeed and progress more in math.
3. Toddlers should not be doing math.
· This is false; although you will not be teaching your toddler multiplication, toddlers begin to learn basic math through talking, singing, using blocks, simple puzzles and nesting cups.
4. When you spend too much time on math at a young age, it takes away from other learning experiences.
· False; when children learn math, they not only learn simple concepts and number sense, they are also learning communication skills, language, literacy, and writing.
Some activities to do at home to enhance math:
· When folding clothes, have your child sort the socks and match them for you.
· Have your child set the table with dishes and the silverware for one-to-one correspondence.
· While driving in the car, count how many white, red or green cars go by.
· Have your child find numbers on buildings, buses, taxies or houses that they can add or subtract.
· Find license plates and try to read the number. TM 3689 this would read three thousand, six hundred and eighty nine. How many states did you find? Which state had the most plates on the road?
· Cooking, measuring and estimating liquids and solids when baking. How much is a half or a quarter of a cup?
· Have them count out the change you get back from a purchase or what they have saved in their piggy banks.
The most important thing you can do for your child is not to ignore math and help them to love math as they grow.
Resources: Parent and child, and Parent fun math.
B-Roll: The Children’s Museum, books on math for young children, paper plates and silverware, socks, and change.
Tracy Martin-Turgeon has been in the field of early childhood education for 22 years. She started with The Children's Workshop in September 1999 as an assistant director for and has since served as director, regional, and currently as a VP regional overseeing seven facilities throughout MA and RI. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Early Childhood education from the University of RI. In her role, Tracy enjoys most supporting and helping the staff, families, and children she works with every day. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and children.
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