Consciously or unconsciously, we frequently use mathematical concepts in our daily lives. This skill is called numeracy. This article focuses on numeracy, specifically the development of early number skills in preschoolers. There are also suggestions for fun activities that you can do with your children to help them develop their early math skills.
Numeracy is the ability to understand and correctly use mathematical concepts so as to be functional in society. Reading a thermometer, comparing costs, judging distances and adapting a recipe are examples of mathematical concepts. Numeracy is analogous to literacy, which refers to the ability to read, understand and use written information in everyday life.
Early numeracy performance is one of the best predictors of later school performance in math and reading. It is also known that parents’ attitude toward learning math and the way children and adults interact in mathematical activities can influence the development of early numeracy skills.
So it is important to include activities that promote numeracy learning in children’s daily lives. Remember, children learn best when they are involved in tasks that are not too complicated for them and that they can do well with the help of an adult or a more skilled peer.
Formal numeracy practices refer to activities in which the parent directly teaches the child about numbers, quantities or arithmetic. Informal numeracy practices indirectly expose the child to numeracy experiences, such as card games or educational games involving numbers.
Here are some examples of what could be involved in learning math at the preschool level, according to the Québec Education Program:
*The term “collection” here refers to a set of objects.
Remedial Teacher, Tutorax
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