In this isolation period, we believe that parents are browsing through the Internet for hours (maybe!) to look for ways to teach the children, especially in Mathematics. Sometimes, Mathematics could be really difficult for some of our little ones so practices and exercises are needed. But the big problem is, will the children willingly do all the exercises?
We have the solutions for you! Let’s make learning Mathematics become fun and exciting for your children. Here are the 6 ways on how you can teach Mathematics at home to your children.
1- Shape Activities
Learning shapes is very important for the young ones so that they are able to visualize and organize information, they are also will be able to understand signs and symbols in real life. If you don’t want to waste papers and pencil or colours, you can use plasticine. Get different colours of plasticine and form shapes with the children and name all the shapes made. The are some of the basic shapes that you should teach your children are (for 6 years and below):
- Star and many more
When your children are able to memorize the names and shapes, conduct a shape game. You can ask your children to collect objects based on shapes or form shapes with their body parts in 20 seconds. Your children will be laughing hysterically while learning Mathematics, which, I believe, never happen before!
Euler Maths is a programme for Mathematics subject in preschools around Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. In Euler Maths, shapes are one of the crucial topics taught with hands-on materials. For shapes, children are provided with rectangle, square, circle and triangle blocks. There are a lot of activities that will be conducted with the children in the classroom!
2- Big, Small, Light and Heavy
Teach them how to compare! This is important so that the children can identify the similarities and differences on objects and understand concepts, too! Big, small, light and heavy.
To do this, first introduce an object that have different sizes and weight. Then, use different objects, a big but light object and a small but heavy object. This way, the children will be able to generalize that not all big objects are heavy and not all small objects are light.
Hold up! But how can we teach the children about light and heavy? You can make your own DIY balancing scale with a hanger or with cups. When this to your children, you might end up doing a STEM activity, which will enthrall your children and they will be very excited for next learning session with you!
In our Mathematics programme, comparison is an important topic so a balancing scale with increasing sizes blocks are provided to the teachers to visualize this topic. If you have one in your house, you can use that!
Do you want your children to practice their counting? Why not make a Monday as the game night for the whole family? Take out your Domino blocks and start playing. Encourage your children to count the blocks on their own.
Do not forget to remind your other family members not to count for your children. If they do, tell them they will lose a turn. This way, all of them will remember your rule! Have fun counting, opppsss! I mean, have fun playing Domino!
4- Play Jigsaw Puzzles
Dear parents, do you know that playing jigsaw puzzles are giving benefits to your emotion, both for adults and children? Yes, they do! Playing with jigsaw puzzles can be fun even for solo or collaborative players. How can you teach Mathematics with jigsaw puzzles?
The basic shapes used in jigsaw puzzles are circle, square and triangle and more complex shapes are used derived from these three basic shapes. Children will practice their shape recognition and you can leave them doing the jigsaw puzzle on their own for 2 minutes or so because there is no way they can cheat a puzzle!
5- What Time Is It?
The skill of learning time can be very tricky to understand especially for children that do not understand the concept of time. So, let’s teach time at home!
First, you need to introduce the short hand (hour) and long hand (minutes) to the children, Once they understand this, train your children to understand 5:00 pm or 7:00 pm with the clock.
It will be very easy if you have a clock model on your own. You can change the time without ruining your analog clock at home. (Check with your school if they are taking our Euler Maths programme, if they do, dig in your child’s student kit bag and look for the clock model).
Relate everything with time. For instance, “It’s 4:40 pm, it’s teatime!” or “It’s 8:00 pm, it’s bedtime”. Play games that involve times and use stopwatch. This way, children will grasp the concept that 1 minutes is 60 seconds. And you move the lesson from there to a more complicated term such as half and hour is 30 minutes and so on.
6- Card Game
Sometimes, when we practice makes 10 or 15 or 20 with written exercises, children are pressured to get the right answers. Most children will be discouraged when they get the wrong answers and they will be in fear.
Let’s us take that fear at home. Take out your cards to play different Mathematics game with your children. If you want to tell the children you are learning Mathematics with the cards, it’s up to you. Believe me, in the middle of playing, children will tend to forget that they are practicing their Mathematics.
Here’s some ways for use to use cards to teach Mathematics to your children (this will make your children count as best as they can):
- Memory Game – take out 12 cards or more and ask your children to flip 2 cards at once to make 10, 15 or 20
- Bingo – this activity will help your children to identify the numbers correctly
- Fraction War – children need to take out one card at a time to form their biggest fraction, the winner will take all the card.