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Helping Your Pre-Schooler With Math-Read Math With Your Child
We have already discussed the importance of developing a good math foundation for your preschoolers. The first, easiest, and best way to add math early in your child’s life is to add math to the reading you are already doing with your child. It’s never too early to start reading to your child, and it’s never too early to add math concepts to that reading.
There’s no need to run around and buy a bunch of preschool math books, although you can mention to friends and family that math storybooks would be a great gift idea. You probably already have books with math concepts. For instance, Goldilocks and the three bears is a wonderful story to introduce mathematical concepts. It allows an early count. It has size comparisons with too little, too big, and just right. It is matched with baby bear and the little bed. You certainly won’t use this terminology, but as you read you can emphasize these concepts. Three blind mice, three little pigs, Three little kittensand Five little monkeys jumping on the bed are other good examples you might already have.
Before spending a lot of money on books, I suggest checking your local public library. You can check out books, read them with your child, and if the book seems like one of those books that your child wants you to read again and again, THEN you can buy it. Definitely use your library before buying anything you haven’t read from online sources.
If you want to buy your own math books, I have several suggestions. I’m a big fan of Dr Seuss books. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb introduces large numbers. Ten apples on top! is a good counting book. one fish two fish goldfish blue fish is good for counting and colors. Horton hears a who! even introduces the concept of infinity. Many other Dr. Seuss books contain number concepts, colors and shapes to read with your child.
You may have read or heard of Baby Einstein. If so, you should know that your young child watching the videos is a very bad idea! Research shows that there should be NO SCREEN TIME for children under two and a very limited time for the eldest. However, baby Einstein My first number book is a wonderful example of what a numbered picture book should be.
Sesame Street book ABC and 1 2 3 is also an excellent math picture book.
When considering buying math picture books, there are a few things you need to consider. The book should be colorful, interesting to you, and it should have meaning, not just rhyme. Don’t assume that because it’s about numbers it’s a good book. For example, I came across a book called One two three! by Sandra Boyton. In fact, I made a mistake while reading! One line read “…and when you want to explore, the number you need is FOUR.” WHY? What does four have to do with exploration? Another page said “Seven is perfect for a play”. Again, I wondered what that even meant. Any book you choose should be something you can talk about with your child. Choose books that you can read with enthusiasm. If a book doesn’t make sense to you, don’t buy it. I want to repeat that it is not necessary to buy a lot of number books because you can find number concepts like counting and making comparisons in almost any book.
While you are reading to your child, you need to work on what is called “the language of space”. It refers to words like front, back, top, bottom, above, below, in front, behind, first, last, in, on, corner, edge, surface, etc. These are all important concepts for your child to understand when they start school. They can’t line up behind the blue line if they don’t know what “behind” means.
When you read to your child, be sure to:
Hold your child on your lap.
Tell your child how much you appreciate your reading time together.
To read every day.
Get involved in the story. To be read with great enthusiasm and expression. Use different voices. Be active in underlining things on the pages. To ask questions.
Pay attention to your child’s answers. Know when to put the book away. If your child loses interest, do something different.
Prepare to read the same book over and over again and be enthusiastic every time.
Above all, make reading FUN!
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