# Teaching 4.5 years old number, basic math. To make sense out of math.

15 replies to this topic

### #1 TerryLee

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

I am looking for a way to teach my 4yo numbers and basic math.

She can count to 10 (and to 15 but with some mistakes) already
and can do simple a math (we use fingers and small objects to do adding and subtractions).

So I was looking for a teaching plan how to solidify the progress,
and move further on - as it feel what we are stuck where we are.

My idea is to follow some methodology which will allow my daugther to
*understand* the mechanics behind the math, the concepts of it - that is, my goal is the quality,
not quantity.

I am willing to spend more time, to allow for a proper understanding
(these "aha" moments when all makes sense)  instead of making her to memorize rules.

And I would like to do it at home and using the simplest tool available

Can you point me to the right direction - where to start?

Thank you very much.

### #2 Ianthe

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

I always found using objects was the best way for kids to understand. And talking about things as you go about your everyday tasks.

I am not a huge one for formalised learning for such young kids though.

### #3 barrington

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 27/11/2012, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I always found using objects was the best way for kids to understand. And talking about things as you go about your everyday tasks.

I am not a huge one for formalised learning for such young kids though.

I'm with Ianthe on this one.  Your daughter is 4.5. Unless she is begging for formal instruction -- because I recognize that there *are* some very young kids who do -- now is the perfect time to just let her learn through every day tasks.

At 4.5, my daughter was already pretty addicted to her computer. She had a lot of fun with ZooWhiz, which is a free program that presents and reinforces basic concepts in a playful way. If your daughter is also a computer kid, you might want to check out:

http://www.zoowhiz.com/

Edited by baddmammajamma, 27 November 2012 - 11:23 AM.

### #5 umop-apisdn

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

What is your daughter interested in?

I would focus on maths in a more informal way and incorporate it with her interests and everyday experiences (eg. cooking, shopping, etc).

Cooking:
- finding, counting & measuring ingredients...if she's interested, look at the recipe together too.

Shopping:
- ask your daughter to help count out how much money you will need when paying for something and get her to pay the cashier.

During play:
- Eg. "you can jump 12 more times on the trampoline, then you need to let X have a turn", then count aloud and see if she joins in.
- Children's boardgames and card games could be another way...eg. counting out cards, counting when moving on a board, etc.
- You could play games like "What's the time Mr Wolf?" and "hide & seek" (where the person finding needs to count before searching).
- Most importantly, make it fun .

### #6 sophiasmum

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

I always leave that to school LOL!

Is she attending pre-school, if not sounds like she should.

Is she transitioning to kindergarten, if so you could ask the teacher.

### #7 =R2=

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

QUOTE (Sail to the Moon @ 27/11/2012, 12:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is your daughter interested in?

I would focus on maths in a more informal way and incorporate it with her interests and everyday experiences (eg. cooking, shopping, etc).

Cooking:
- finding, counting & measuring ingredients...if she's interested, look at the recipe together too.

Shopping:
- ask your daughter to help count out how much money you will need when paying for something and get her to pay the cashier.

During play:
- Eg. "you can jump 12 more times on the trampoline, then you need to let X have a turn", then count aloud and see if she joins in.
- Children's boardgames and card games could be another way...eg. counting out cards, counting when moving on a board, etc.
- You could play games like "What's the time Mr Wolf?" and "hide & seek" (where the person finding needs to count before searching).
- Most importantly, make it fun .

This.

Keep it real, keep it fun for her. Let your child lead you rather than being the pushy parent.

### #8 Coffeegirl

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

I would also be careful how much addition , subtraction etc you are teaching before they start formal schooling.

I was surprised that DD and DS have both learned very different ways to do subtraction, yet they both went to the same school.

Learning at school level is always evolving and teaching your child too much before they start school could set them up with some frustration down the track.  IE  SHe learns to do it one way from you, but the school teaches a different way.   While you would hope that your DD's future teachers would be flexible enough to use the techniques that work with the child, sometimes they are inflexible with this.

I would just continue with what you are doing and use situations around you as your teaching tools - rather than anything formal.

### #9 millie_11

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

I am not a teacher, but in my view at that age, if your child is keen, the important thing is basic numeracy rather than eg being able to do a particular sum. By that I mean that they understand eg 12 is a ten and 2 'ones', and that they can recognise that the number after 10 is 11 and the number before is 9 etc.
Understanding the importance the number 10 plays then makes (down the track) understanding bigger numbers super easy and the concepts of adding and subtracting easier as they have the fundamentals sorted.
I bought a 'base 10' set which has blocks of 1, 10, and 100 and I will 'play' with these with DS5 - although there is a teachers guide with the set with more formal activities. Bought it online somewhere from an Australian website. Sometimes I'll write a number down eg 25 and ask him to represent that via the blocks, or sometimes in reverse so I'll put 3 'tens' and 4 'ones' down and hopefully he'll tell me the number is 34!
He enjoys doing the little challenges (but he is a bit of a nerdy kid   ) and I think it will help him when he starts school as he will understand that numbers are pretty logical really!

### #10 Expelliarmus

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

I would teach counting on, skip counting and subitising next.

Counting on: being able to count from any point and not go back to 1 to count. eg start with 5 and then go 6, 7,8 etc

Skip counting: 2, 4, 6, 8/5, 10, 15/ 10, 20, 30

Subitising: instantly recognising the number of objects in a small group, without counting.

### #11 jm3

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 27/11/2012, 11:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Unless she is begging for formal instruction -- because I recognize that there *are* some very young kids who dohttp://www.zoowhiz.com/

My nearly 4.5 year old daughter is exactly this child.  I just go with it, if she wants to read or write or 'do maths' then I help to facilitate this.  We play what she calls "the question game" in the car all the time.  I ask her random questions and she answers and then demands the next question LOL  eg. How many sides does a triangle have?  How many sides does two squares have?  What's 7+7?  I can barely keep up!!

### #12 Kalota

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:26 AM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 27/11/2012, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I always found using objects was the best way for kids to understand. And talking about things as you go about your everyday tasks.

I am not a huge one for formalised learning for such young kids though.

I agree with this, concrete materials are the best way to teach young children Maths without losing their understanding of the concept or the risk of just rote learning/memorising (I am a Prep teacher!)

However having said that, I don't think I would formally go out of my way to "teach" Maths to a child of that age at home, I would probably just use everyday Maths to build their concept of number (e.g. Counting objects around the home, sharing toys equally between siblings/family members, talking a about money when going to the shops, reading numbers that you see around the community (e.g. Letter boxes, number plates...)

### #13 TerryLee

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (Kalota @ 02/12/2012, 09:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with this, concrete materials are the best way to teach young children Maths without losing their understanding of the concept or the risk of just rote learning/memorising (I am a Prep teacher!)

However having said that, I don't think I would formally go out of my way to "teach" Maths to a child of that age at home, I would probably just use everyday Maths to build their concept of number (e.g. Counting objects around the home, sharing toys equally between siblings/family members, talking a about money when going to the shops, reading numbers that you see around the community (e.g. Letter boxes, number plates...)

Thank you Kalota, my daughter can already do some of the things on your 'concept of number' list (counting objects, reading numbers of letter boxes, etc), but why
not go more formal? I suppose the difference between what you do and a formal approach is to have a (1) teaching plan, (2) to be able to measure the progress. As this is my definition of a "formal" teaching, yours might be different, I am very interested to understand your point of view as it seems to be shared by many.

Cheers.

### #14 mama123

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

I have purchased a math-u-see curriculum for my eldest. He will be 5 in March.

We are going to homeschool though. I would be very reluctant to go this route if I was sending him to school. I would worry that he would become too bored at school. It might serve some purpose for those struggling at school and need an extra helping hand.

There is an Australian website for math-u-see, you may or may not be interested.

MTA is a good website to use. They have blocks and lesson books for you to create your own lessons/activities.

### #15 Kalota

Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (TerryLee @ 05/12/2012, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you Kalota, my daughter can already do some of the things on your 'concept of number' list (counting objects, reading numbers of letter boxes, etc), but why
not go more formal? I suppose the difference between what you do and a formal approach is to have a (1) teaching plan, (2) to be able to measure the progress. As this is my definition of a "formal" teaching, yours might be different, I am very interested to understand your point of view as it seems to be shared by many.

Cheers.

I think we have a different view of what "formal" teaching may be, when i teach using these everyday experiences i still have a plan and can measure the process i think the reason why I would hesitate to teach "formal" maths (as i define it) lessons at home is because as a Prep teacher I see many parents attempting to extend their children in Maths at home, but it the end it is all rote learned information rather than understanding concepts and applying skills (e.g. children who can skip count by 2s but dont understand that they are adding 2 each time and how this can help them with addition/subraction/multiplication problems, or childrens who cant choose appropriate mental computation strategies but can add and subtract by doing vertical equations). This is not to say that it can't be done, but my personal opinion is that the best way to teach is through real-life, relatable experiences that are meaningful, rather than "formal" isolated instruction of random lessons!

### #16 MissingInAction

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

What you're doing is great
A lot of parents don't do ANYTHING with their kids like this and it makes it so much easier for the kid to make sense of it at school if they already have some experiences of the languages of numeracy in a real context at home like when they're cooking, for example.  Keep it up

If you want to go one step further, though,this is what the guidelines (that Kindergarten Teachers use in QLD) suggest teachers do to promote numeracy.  http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/p_10/qklg.pdf  << go to page 62 of the document

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