Teaching Math to Young Children

By Sarah Pachev

My husband Sasha majored in Math at Moscow State University, Russia's equivalent to Harvard. That said, it is no surprise that our children are learning their multiplication tables in kindergarten and are on to pre-algebra by their early elementary years.

How do we do it? Well I think the first important ingredient is a strong desire to teach your children and second consistency. I think, however, that if you are at accomplished at anything that you will be good at teaching your child that. First of all, you love it. Second of all you do it often and they see that.

Math, however is something that can be easily snuck into a daily routine.

Here's some ways we have included it in our day:

  • Print off worksheets from the internet...they are usually free and kids love them.
  • Buy a math workbook from a education store or even Wal-mart. This will give them a consistent program.
  • Draw a maze for them with math problems at some of the bends. My children love doing mazes and were willing to do the math problems in the way of completing the maze.
  • Our favorite favorite favorite is "Math problem for a snack"
    • We have 5 small children and when one of them asks for a snack in between our normal schedule of meals and snacks...usually when we are pretty busy doing something else...we say,"Sure, you can have a snack...if...you do a math problem for it. The beauty of this technique is that they learn a work ethic and a math problem all at once. Our 6 year old Jenny will often walk into the kitchen and say, "I'll do a math problem for a sandwich." This technique can be applied for just about anything you are working on teaching your children.
  • My husband does Daddy math time with our oldest child. Lately they have been going on-line and working on a sample S.A.T. question together. Benjamin is almost 8 right now and he understands a fair amount of higher mathematics.
  • We recently bought a toy that we really love. It's called LeapFrog Turbo Twist. Our children love playing with it and it has different levels of problems so every child can play and be challenged. They love this toy so much they even bring it out when friends come over and share it with their cousins when we are visiting family.

Whatever you decide to do to help your children excel in math remember to develop a love for it yourself. Make it a game and have fun with it. Your children will thank you for it and you will feel happy knowing that they are smart.

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