It is anticipated that in ten years or so, when our children become adults and begin to look for a job, professions that are associated with the technology, engineering and mathematics will become even more dominant. Unfortunately, too many children are still struggling with math. Therefore, more and more schools around the world are adopting the Singapore method of teaching mathematics, thanks to which this island nation has reached the top of international rankings.
In the seventies Singaporean students actually had very poor results in mathematics. A turning point came when they began to devote more time to a smaller number of topics, with specific instructions and herring usage of drawing models, which helped students to fully understand the mathematics they are learning.
For success these countries should make an effort in training teachers and show patience, because these radically different methods can yield results only after six to eight years (as it was in Singapore).
Young children are programmed to understand the basic math concepts
It is usually thought that mathematics is a talent that you either have or you don’t. In fact, even those who are university graduates sometimes say that they do not know math. Can you imagine those same people say that they do not know how to read? Don’t let your child develops phobia for mathematics because of your discomfort or insecurity, even before they start school.
If your say that you have never been great at math and that all worked out for you – you are preparing them for failure. The most important thing is the first step – teaching children the concept of numbers in early childhood.
Play the games that require basic math skills, such as grouping, sorting and computing; recognizing shapes and patterns, as well as basic geometric manners.
Your child can begin to understand these concepts when it is about two years old. You can give him the cardboard boxes of different sizes and let them find out which objects (various toys) can fit in which. Improve their sense of space by letting them build the cubes tower, or to classify different forms.
Turn your kitchen into a math classroom
While you’re making cakes, cut the slices to look like squares, rectangles, triangles … you can count the eggs when breaking them into a bowl with your child, or ask them to help you measure and pour two cups of milk. Highlight the numbers in recipes and show your child how to set a kitchen scale. You can even teach them simple fractions.
Embrace the arts
Rhythm is a great way to improve counting. Let the child count the different steps while dancing, or dance at a certain scheme – march four times, and then jump four times, turn around twice then crouch etc. Let them draw diverse shapes on paper, and then show that they can serve as the basis for a detailed drawing. The circle can become a face, a rectangle can be house or a window.
Practice with everyday items
Showing the card with the words “This is number two” will not catch child’s attention. Instead, show him a box of chocolate cookies and ask him to separate two for dessert. If a child can’t wait for the trip on Saturday, let them counting down the days until Saturday.
Act as student and teacher
When your child starts school, start learning math again. When kid masters something new, ask them to explain that to you. You will enjoy switching the roles.